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Plastic Garbage Patch Works: Rio+20 Summit

Last week, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio + 20, held June 20-21st, a list of top ten priorities emerged. Among them, ending plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

Several years ago, reports began to surface online of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vortex of plastic debris the size of Texas located in the deepest reaches of the North Pacific Ocean.

Something about the allusion to Texas helped make this factoid a viral meme. Eco-blogs and environmental groups used this information to initiate campaigns to “Take the Plastic Water Bottle Challenge” and ban plastic bags. Los Angeles is the most recent city to ban plastic bags, which now includes Austin, Hawaii, Seattle, Toronto, Mexico City, Mumbai, Italy, and Rwanda.

Recent Campaigns and Articles:

Big Wins at Rio + 20” by Leila Monroe, HuffPo Green, June 22nd, 2012.

Change.org: 12 Year Old Activist in Illinois: Plastic Bag Ban.

NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) on Ocean Plastic Pollution.




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  1. Kathleen

    Oh. My. God. This is so disgusting. Sometimes I get so frustrated with the carelessness of the human race. I think there needs to be an anti-litter campaign. People think that the one time they litter, it wont have impact. We need to cherish the earth we live in and stop being so careless!

  2. Melissa C

    What a terrible effect! Sidenote: It is incredible how filmmakers are able to bring life to inanimate objects. This type of personification really struck a nerve with me. I would also be curious to see if there are other short films, which shed light upon a cause by illustrating an object in this manner. Perhaps, with styrofoam? There is certainly no shortage of humorous viral videos featuring pets (ie. cats) behaving like humans. Of course, these videos have been created for sheer amusement and not for a legitimate cause…


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