Mae West, the Turtle, Exhibit in Plastic Waste Halt Awareness

April 22nd, 2009 - 5:53 pm ICT by GD  

A photo released by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation shows Mae West, a turtle severely deformed by throwaway plastics. The turtle crawled into it when it was young and as it grew, plastic constriction deformed it. This and other images of wildlife damaged by plastics and samples of plastic-laden water from a “plastic soup” called the North Pacific Gyre in the Pacific Ocean, will be carried by two cyclists from the Algalita Foundation in a bid to halt plastic waste in oceans. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins will undertake the 2,000 mile bicycle campaign to help raise awareness about how plastics endanger life in the oceans.

There is no way to clean up the “plastic soup” at the North Pacific Gyre, which is basically a confluence of ocean currents that are two times as big as the United States and full of plastic refuse, but there are numerous ways to stop dumping more plastic waste into the oceans, according to Eriksen and Cummins.

Marcus Eriksen, the director of research and education at the Algalita Marine Research Foundation said, “It makes no sense that we take a material designed to last forever, then turn around and make products from it that are designed to be thrown away. That’s the opposite of sustainable living.” The foundation is a non profit organization trying to save the marine environment through a process of research, raising education and restoration.

Last summer Eriksen constructed a raft out of 15,000 plastic bottles and used it to sail past the North Pacific Gyre, which is a key area of interest for the foundation.

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