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If one theory is correct, microbes may be evolving to clean up our mess. Photo: Elite Reader

Photo: Elite Reader


The Inertia

Even though every day should be International Coastal Cleanup Day, every third weekend in September is specially reserved for the event. So this Saturday, September 16, 2017, ocean-loving volunteers from all around the world will participate. The purpose of the global wide event is not only to spread awareness of the growing concern, but it’s also an opportunity for experts to identify and examine the sources and trends of marine debris.

We are facing a constantly growing problem and each of us must personally decide what we can do about it. More than eight million tons of plastic end up in our world’s oceans every year, according to PlasticOceans.Org. Sadly, much of it gets ingested by birds and fish. In turn, the health of those who consume contaminated fish and other kinds of seafood may be affected by the toxins. In the most polluted places in the ocean, the mass of plastic exceeds the amount of plankton six times over. There is simply too much plastic polluting our oceans and it’s affecting us all more than we realize. Many of us may take for granted the extreme importance of our oceans. After all, it makes up 71% of our Earth and contributes life-giving resources, including the air we breathe.

In Thailand, an island-wide beach cleanup will occur along 18 beaches of Phuket, the nation’s largest island. Keep Phuket Clean is an organized beach cleanup event initiated by the Phuket Hotels Association’s Environmental & Sustainability Working Group,’ and is supported by the Phuket’s Governor and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phuket Office. Starting at 8 am on Saturday, opening ceremonies will take place at Karon, Nai Harn, Surin, and Nai Yang beaches. Phuket’s Governor and Vice Governor will be giving speeches at Karon and Surin beaches, respectively.

Beyond this weekend’s organized cleanup, the Thai government says they’ve has established a 20-year strategy to take on the plastic pollution issue. Financial incentives for keeping plastic out of the sea and encouraging eco-packaging design and eco-friendly substitutes for plastics have already been developed. But outside of Thailand and outside of this weekend, what are some other things we can all do to help? Well, many simple daily steps can have a positive impact in fighting plastic pollution:

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-When shopping for groceries, request a paper bag or bring your own reusable bag.

-Throw away trash in appropriate trash bins.

-Avoid buying products packaged in plastic as often as possible.

-Recycle plastic when we do use it.

-Keep and use a reusable water bottle.

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