You Buy, the Sea Pays

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Most of our bountiful planet's water is in the ocean, which - humans, take a bow - are a calamity: Up to 26 million tons of plastic packaging and other debris threatens the life of our oceans and its hundreds of thousands of fish, birds and other marine creatures, who ingest it, get tangled in it or otherwise die from our ungodly carelessness. To mark the 20th anniversary of its annual Ocean Initiatives, the Surfrider Foundation has launched a new mobilization and awareness campaign to remind us, "Ocean pollution begins with the purchase of the object which will eventually be discarded as waste" - you buy, the sea pays. By way of catchy illustration, their posters show some of the over 250 threatened species up against the scanner that can ultimately mean their death.

Surfrider's large-scale marine litter collection program focuses on the most common debris found: plastic bags, cigarette butts, food packaging, cotton swabs and plastic microbeads from cosmetics. They stress that adopting a few basic eco-friendly behaviors - ubiquitous plastic bags be gone - can help. "The poetry of the earth is never dead," wrote John Keats before Walmart, styrofoam, beer cans and other atrocities came to be. Let's hope he's still right.

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