We all are responsible for cleaner oceans

May 4, 2018 GMT

Every human should ethically have a responsibility to keep our planet clean. However, due to the ignorance of some, innocent animals die every day from waste being thrown into our environment.

Recently a sperm whale was washed up on the shore of a Spanish beach with more than 60 pounds of waste in its body. The sperm whale accumulated trash including plastic bags, ropes, netting and even a plastic drum, according to The New York Times. This is a byproduct of the ignorance by those who treat this earth as their personal trash bin.

Neglecting the environment is one thing, but putting the lives of innocent animals at risk due to improperly throwing garbage out is preventable to a degree and inexcusable.

This is not the first report of aquatic animals being killed by waste through human laziness. The New York Times reported a case where two whales were washed to shore in Northern California. One of them consumed more than 160 pounds of waste and was pronounced deceased through starvation as the trash blocked any food from getting into the whale’s stomach. This problem has been swept under the rug for decades and our world needs to find an alternative to eliminating the amount of waste it produces daily.

Innocent animals shouldn’t have to have hundreds of pounds of waste clog their bodies. That being said, humans shouldn’t be treating their own planet like it’s a trash can itself.

Connecticut, even being the small state it is, has contributed vastly to clean-up efforts locally. As stated by the Connecticut Fund for the Environment... “Connecticut took a big step in 2008 when it put the Clean Water Fund —the state’s primary mechanism for funding clean water projects-back on track… From 2012 to 2013, Connecticut committed to providing over $659 million in municipal clean water infrastructure grants and loans.” A large sum of money was put into these projects to clean up Long Island Sound and the surrounding waters around Connecticut. Funds such as these are a blueprint toward better waters for animals and the environment and should be followed by surrounding states to help the cause of clean waters globally. Small steps have to be taken first in order to see a bigger impact.

Although tons of trash are dumped into our oceans yearly, there are already efforts to help save our Earth in motion right now. Groups such as the Plastic Oceans Foundation (https://plasticoceans.org/) and The Ocean Cleanup movements (https://www.theoceancleanup.com/) help raise awareness and form solutions toward a better, healthier, less polluted world. Their websites have vast amounts of information and lay out how important these movements truly are.

When put into context how much waste pollutes our oceans, it is truly alarming. More than eight million tons of trash, garbage, and waste pollute our oceans every year, according to the Plastic Oceans Project. Hundreds of pounds of this trash ends up killing innocent animals and it’s all due to the incomprehension of some toward this real problem in our world.

We humans have been gifted with a world we need to start treating properly. Obviously, eight million tons of garbage doesn’t come from one person, town, state, or region. However, it does require a call to action for all. Visit these websites, learn more about the efforts to clean our oceans, and help keep our planet clean. No person, animal, or living organism should have to live in the waste of others.

Lucas Rodrigues, a Brookfield resident, is a student at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury and a member of the soccer team.