A photographer discovered a 5 mile long “blanket of plastic” off the coast of a Honduran island which is having devastating effects on wildlife.
Photographer Caroline Power has a home on the island of Roatan in the Carribean and was out at sea when she came across this “Great Caribbean Garbage Patch”. The island is often described as a paradise island, but only 15 miles off the coast, things are less than idyllic.
As we are all well aware by now, humans use excessive amounts of plastic on a day-to-day basis. We seem to have a problem disposing of these plastics in a responsible manner to avoid polluting our environment, and a lot of plastic tends to end up in our oceans where it causes all sorts of problems for the marine life.
Power, who has spent most of her career devoted to raising awareness of the plastic problem, was interviewed by The Telegram, and explained a bit about the shocking discovery:
“We were on a dive trip to a set of islands that don’t quite break the ocean surface. They are one of the most pristine dive sites in this part of the Caribbean. Everywhere we looked, plastic bags of all shapes and sizes: chip bags, ziplocks, grocery, trash, snack bags, other packaging. Some were whole, and the rest were just pieces.”
When they hit the garbage patch, Power and her team floated through it for almost five miles. They saw endless amounts of plastic plates, forks, and spoons. Among the waste there was also more unusual items such as a television, burst soccer balls, toothbrushes, and many pairs of flip-flops.
They reached one area that was “about two miles wide that had multiple trash lines that stretched from horizon to horizon.”
The images were described as “unbelievable” by the non-profit organization Blue Planet Society. They suspect the garbage drifted over from Motagua River in Guatemala after being washed into the sea by heavy rains.
Images: Caroline Power