Of the 300 million tons of plastic we produce and consume worldwide every year, only a little percentage is recycled and reused.
Given this overwhelming figure, you must be wondering, where do our plastics go? The latest cover of the National Geographic magazine answers this important question.
The latest cover aptly called Planet or Plastic, for the June issue of the National Geographic magazine, is undeniably the best symbolism there is to portray the effects of our massive plastic consumption.
The powerful cover trending on various social media platforms is that of a plastic bag partly submerged in water. Speaking of the reality that most people are still ignorant of- that the plastic, majority of single-use plastic, which we pollute our ocean’s with, is just the tip of an iceberg.
The nature advocate magazine’s senior photo editor, Vaughn Wallace shared the powerful image on his twitter account, uploading it with a caption of “One for the ages.”
According to the senior photo editor, the evocative image is a part of their plan to create social awareness of our growing concern. And, as per Vaugn Wallace, their publication will ditch plastic wrappers in exchange of papers
The photo garnered more than 6000 shares and over 13,000 likes – a testament that the magazine’s movement for raising awareness to the problems brought by single-use plastic is quite effective. As the picture is creating controversy and instilling environmental consciousness.
“The ocean is expected to contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight),” Ellen MacArthur Foundation reported at a forum last year. In the report, it was revealed that a garbage truck worth of plastic bottles is being dumped into the ocean every 60 seconds.
Roughly. an estimate of 150 million tons of plastics are already polluting our oceans, on top of this, an additional 8 million tons of plastic wastes enter our water resources yearly.
According to researchers, in relation to the trend we are heading towards to, a vast dump of plastic waste is floating in the Pacific Oceas. What makes this more alarming is that the floating mass of the accumulated plastics is bigger than France, Germany, and Spain combined!
Certainly, we should be concerned about the future of our marine environment, and must have a discipline in using and disposing plastics. Never shall it slip our mind that the plastic we consume every day ends up killing our precious and beautiful marine life.
The magazine is aiming to persuade consumers to be more responsible of how they consume plastics. Simply minimizing our plastic consumption, particularly in those which are only used one time such as: grocery plastic bag, bottles, and plastic straws. After all, there are other products we could use as an alternative to the three most consumed single-use plastics.
As a part of the National Geographic’s campaign, here are other photos that will surely instill environmental consciousness to all decent human beings.
Upon seeing this helpless animal fighting for life against a plastic bag thrown by people, the photographer saved this stork from certain death.
Pictured above is a seahorse in the Indonesian Island of Sumbawa, clutching a drifting used plastic cotton swab instead of seagrass or natural debris.
Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean off Spain, a turtle struggling to stretch its neck above water to be able to breathe, was trapped in an old plastic fishing net.
On the other side of the world, Okinawa Japan, a hermit crab is photographed using a plastic bottle cap to protect its soft abdomen. The hermit crab had no choice but to use one of trashes left behind by beachgoers instead of the shells they have collected.
Majority of marine wildlife have eaten or have entangled in our plastic wastes. Only a few were lucky to be saved by fishermen, and other aquatic endearing photographers, and divers. We all know that the photograped marine environment, is not really how it is supposed to be like.
The marine environment is not the only natural habitat we are destroying with our uncontrollable and massive plastic production and consumption. About 79 percent of our plastic wastes are collected in landfills. You wouldn’t want to live in this kind of environment, do you?
There are a lot of alternatives to single-use plastics. And though living waste-free and plastic-free is hard and inconvenient, it surely is worth it. At the end of the day, always think of it this way, we have no other place to call home but Earth. Take responsibility of keeping our home habitable.
Watch and share the video below to help raise awareness about the alarming effect of our uncontrollable and overwhelming plastic consumption. Stop contributing to the problem and start being a part of the solution.
Video & Photos | National Geographic