When Matador associate editor JoAnna Haugen sent me this video last week, it was particularly relevant: I’d just gotten out of the water after leading a snorkeling excursion in the Caribbean Sea.
As I pulled myself onto the boat, I had my gear in one hand and a collection of garbage I’d picked up from the bottom in the other. My occasional tour guide work in Puerto Rico always reminds me that humans have a really sick relationship with garbage. We make too much of it, first of all, and we ship it off to places that get paid for storing it because we don’t want to see it ourselves.
For people who live on islands or near water, problems with trash are particularly acute. When you learn more about the Pacific Trash Vortex (and there’s a companion vortex of garbage swirling in the Atlantic), you can’t help but think we’ve got to come up with a better way to deal with the waste we produce.
Do you have ideas for improving our waste management systems? Share them in the comments.