What does working full time for Plastic Continents look like?

Hello!

Thank you for being here!

 

if you are reading this, well let me tell you how grateful I am for your interest.

I want to share with you a little bit about what has brought me to choose to work on this project full-time.

I grew up at the age of 9 from 5th grade on in the keys, and learned at a very young age the beauty of our oceans. Surrounded on one side by the Gulf of Mexico and on the other the Atlantic Ocean made my fascination of our open waters large and endless.

I encountered the harmful effects of plastic pollution when I was a freshman in high school. At the time, I was preparing myself to head into a medical career. Volunteering before school at the local surgery center, shadowing out-of patient surgeries, and being part of the swim team after school, didn’t give me room or time to go in another path.

It wasn’t until I was attending Stetson university, where things calmed down a bit for me to get involved in the creation of this project: Plastic Continents.

I named it that way for a couple of reasons. The more I did research, the more I realized the myths and conspiracies that were being made on this phenomenon. But before I get into that, let me tell you how plastic pollution awareness came to be.

Charles Moore, a sailing enthusiast, is amongst the first to come across the issue and spread awareness on this growing issue around 1997. Sailing back from a race, he noticed how much floating debris was on his path in the middle of the vast and open ocean. He described the issue as being “twice the size of Texas” and chose to give the name The great pacific garbage patch. He has since devoted his time to researching this issue.

From then on people have called plastic pollution in our oceans many things; like plastic island, or man-made plastic vortex, plastic ocean, swirling plastic ocean, etc…

they have also described it in many ways; like a walking continent, or that it’s a physical island someone could park their boat on and walk on. This is thankfully not the case! There are patches ranging of all sizes, but never large enough to conglomerate into one giant tangle or our issue, quite frankly would be a lot easier to clean up! But that’s for another discussion.

I asked an astronaut Douglas G. Hurley in 2014, if he was able to see or detect the Great pacific garbage patch from outer space, and his reply was “no, but nor was he really looking for it.”

That was officially when I knew a lot of the information on the internet could not be completely trusted, or must be taken with a grain of salt.

I chose the name Plastic Continents, because unfortunately plastic pollution does not begin or end with our oceans. It begins on land and then tragically goes into our oceans, and back onto our land (karma? I like to think so).

I have said from the very beginning of my journey in learning about this issue, that the problem begins and must end with the over production of plastics. (Amongst other things, but that is also another discussion!)

I discovered a couple of years ago a man named Mike Biddle. He did a Ted talk about how he could take any type of plastic and recycle it into one type only. I thought then, this was a revolutionary idea and needed to be put into place. Because when you learn about plastic you begin to learn that they’re seven main types of plastic and each have a different way of being recycled. So his idea was to make things less complicated and create a solution in that domain if the plastic issue. I have yet been able to get in contact with mr.Biddle and conduct a proper interview. One day, I hope!

 

I chose the name Plastic Continents, because it affects every continent and everything in between.

I am hoping to expand this project and reach all sorts of people who work with plastic one way or another (which really means everyone, because every single one of us is surrounded by it).

I am interested in how we have let this invention, (first created in 1907) consume us-literally!

As an artist, I have devoted my art to this theme. It’s something that moves me and I find truly interesting. It is easy to see the negative and hopeless aspects of this issue, but I cannot help but find opportunities and solutions awaiting for us to utilize and create from it.

I am just grateful that in the last five years, this topic is ever growing and continues to reach hundreds of minds every day.

One day, I hope we will return to a world where Plastic will be known in history as an invasive invention that was also an incredible source of energy and revenue.

 

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