Our Role in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Written by LATISM Twitter Chat manager, Melanie Mendez-Gonzales 

We are all aware that recycling is good for the environment. We appreciate our planet and take steps to take care of it. Have you ever considered the impacts of the other two ‘R’s in waste management – reduce and reuse?

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Latinos have been reusing plastic containers since before it was cool. Our abuelas taught us right. But what’s our responsibility when it comes to the plastics we aren’t recycling or reusing? And what impact does it really have on us?

Plastics grew in popularity because of their characteristics like their durability, low toxicity, ease of production. However, these are the same attributes that have created an environmental problem. Many plastics do not break down but instead break into tinier and tinier pieces. These pieces end up in our natural waters and becomes a part of the litter known as Marine debris. Today’s plastic-use and throwaway lifestyle contributes to the Marine debris that is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Pacific trash vortex, spans waters from the West Coast of North America to Japan. pic2The patch is comprised of the Western Garbage Patch, located near Japan, and the Eastern Garbage Patch, located between the U.S. states of Hawaii and California.* The contents of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch have been described as a toxic “plastic soup,” for which we have provided all the ingredients. As new research surfaces linking plastic debris to marine species extinction, the consequences of our waste are clearly becoming more and more devastating.**

What can be done about the GPGP? The most impactful actions that we can take to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are limiting or eliminating our use of disposable plastics and increasing our use of biodegradable resources. That’s one of the topics that we will discuss in this week’s civic engagement #LATISM Twitter Chat with special guest Jeanelly Concepcion.

Jeanelly is a trainer at AT&T and received her Masters in Natural Resource Management at Universidad Metropolitana in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Jeanelly recently spoke at TEDxATT shedding light on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and sharing some life hacks to reduce our impact on the plastic waste that we generate. She also blogs about her other passion of fashion and positive body image at The Fashion Lotus.

JOIN US & LEARN MORE during our Civic Engagement #LATISM Chat

“Our Role in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch”

Thursday, August 11, 2016, 9 p.m. EST – 10 p.m. EST

Special Guest: Jeanelly Concepcion @JeanellyC_ATT

Host: @mendezgonzales

Hashtags: #LATISM #GPGPchat

SOURCES: *http://nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/

**http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/great-pacific-garbage-patch-is-destroying-the-oceans/

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