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Old April 6th, 2004, 11:51 AM
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Default Plastic shopping bags

We just returned from a cruise on the Paradise, and I saw something I'd like to share -I suspect many people just don't realize little things like this could have such a huge impact on life in the sea, so I 'd like to draw some quick attention to it. I'm sure no one here will mind a kind reminder.

One day on deck, there was a family at a table near us. It was quite windy, so one of the teenagers had a plastic shopping bag tucked under her leg to keep it from blowing away. I'm guessing she had been using it to hold her camera & suntan lotion, which were visible on the table. OK, all fine there, right?
Except then she got up, forgetting about the bag, and it blew off the chair, then overboard into the water. She looked irritated that she had lost her bag, but quickly got over it. The bag was instantly forgotten. What happened to it? That sort of thing happens all the time, who cares, right? Let me share what likely happened after that bag disappeared.

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food. Turtles think the bags are jellyfish, their primary food source. Once swallowed, plastic bags choke animals or block their intestines, leading to an agonizing death.

I know we all do things every day without thinking of their ramifications, but
that single, forgettable event may have resulted in a death. Something that occurred in less than a minute haunted me for the rest of the cruise.

So please, fellow cruisers, keep in mind that the things you do (or don't do) can affect the very ocean you're there to enjoy. Please be careful with your belongings - you want them a lot more than the fishes do!

Thanks for your attention, all.

Post Edited (04-06-04 11:53)
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Old April 6th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Plastic shopping bags

Very well said. The same goes for cigarette butts and other trash. The seas are not our trash cans. Let's keep it clean and unpolluted. Be mindful of the wind and take your trash and butts to a proper recpticle.

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Old April 6th, 2004, 11:06 PM
Ron Ron is offline
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Default Re: Plastic shopping bags

Triptaker, I agree with you and am glad to see someone who has a concern for the environment.
I live on a small island on the south east coast. We have shrimpers, commercial fishers, pleasure boaters and also have several ocean going freighters coming in and out weekly. I see first hand the trash that is dumped and comes ashore. Bottles, cans, six-pack plastic, ---you name it and we eventually get it.

In addition to the trash coming ashore from the boats, we get our share of litter from people who are just to lazy to use the trash cans we provide. We have approx. 20 miles of paved bike trails for people to use and enjoy. Yet, we have to pay to have people patrol these paths to keep the trash picked up ( the most dumped thing is plastic water bottles )--imagine--people will carry a bottle of water, then when its empty and weighing nothing, throw down the empty.

On the south end of the island there is a gravel parking lot with a boardwalk approx. 200 yds long to the beach. At each end of the boardwalk there are trash bins. In between there is always litter. Go figure.

To all who put litter in its place, whether on a cruise ship or a bike trail, I thank you. To those who litter, please stop and think what you are doing.
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