Crash And Trash: Why Missing Flight Waters Down Global Issue


When Malaysian Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8, 2014, the flight was expected to land shortly. But more than two months after the flight failed to land in the Chinese city, an international search has continued looking for the flight crew and passengers, leaving many unresolved questions that only seem to be drifting further from actualization.

When search crews initially began looking for pieces of the jet in bodies of water like the Andaman Sea and the South China Sea, they couldn’t find anything. Even now, no clues have surfaced from the waters’ depths.

But what if the best way to discovering some of the missing aircraft was to simply not litter the next time you hit the beach?

Crazy as it may sound, the depressing missing jet situation points to a global problem that all of us should be personally depressed about: our trashed oceans, says a recent report out of the Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in Washington, DC.

The report indicates that volunteers gathered 12 million pounds of trash during last year’s International Coastal Cleanup- the most amount of garbage ever recorded in the 28 years of the event.

Last year’s cleanup encompassed the whole Earth, including coastal areas in the Pacific Northwest, California, and Japan. The event covered more than 92 countries, and included more than 5,000 clean-up sites.

The trash that the group uncovered was shocking. The report found that the trash collected by almost 650,000 volunteers would fill about 38 Olympic pools. The weight of all the garbage was equal to 823 male African elephants.

And that’s not all they found while cleaning out the ocean; volunteers found things like a working iPad, a typewriter from 1904, and even a loaded handgun.

Below are a few of the interesting other stuff they came across.

• The amount of fishing line they unsurfaced was enough to go up and over Mount Everest five times.

• The amount of bottle caps they found would cover three football fields if laid down one next to the other.

• Volunteers found enough devices to furnish a whole apartment, including an air conditioner, a sink, and even a refrigerator.

With the health of our oceans directly playing a role in the health of our ecosystems- and, by default, ourselves- it’s imperative that we take personal responsibility for the things we dispose of in our beautiful waters.


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