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All Things Ath

All Things Ath

The Art, Thoughts, and Meanderings of Steven Jay Athanas

Our Oceans Need Help

Plastics are polluting our oceans at an unmanageable rate. What doesn’t end up floating on top of the ocean or washing up on shore, eventually drops down to its depths and finds its way into the sediment at the bottom. This form of pollution has been a hot topic for years and while promising solutions are being explored for alternatives to PET (polyethylene terephthalate), we still have to deal with decades of plastic pollution that goes back to the 1950’s.

PET plastic can be found in single-use plastic water bottles. It is associated with health risks such as stunted growth, reproduction issues, low energy levels, body balance issues, and inability to process stress.

PET can break down into tiny pieces called microplastics. Microplastics can be found in our oceans, bays, lakes, drinking water, and even our soil. 

How Much Plastic Gets Into the Ocean?

80% of the plastic in the ocean is land-based and 20% from boats and marine sources. Leakage from landfill sites contributes. So does littering. Litter gets carried away by rainwater and wind and ultimately ends up in streams, rivers, and through drain pipes ends up in the ocean. Illegal dumping also contributes.

The sad truth is we are consuming far more plastics than recycling can manage. Check out the following key points from the 2022 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – Global Plastics Outlook.

      • Plastic consumption has quadrupled over the past 30 years, driven by growth in emerging markets. Global plastics production doubled from 2000 to 2019 to reach 460 million tons.

      • Plastics account for 3.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

      • Global plastic waste generation more than doubled from 2000 to 2019 to 353 million tons. Nearly two-thirds of plastic waste comes from plastics with lifetimes of under five years, with 40% coming from packaging, 12% from consumer goods and 11% from clothing and textiles.

      • Only 9% of plastic waste is recycled (15% is collected for recycling but 40% of that is disposed of as residues). Another 19% is incinerated, 50% ends up in landfill and 22% evades waste management systems and goes into uncontrolled dumpsites, is burned in open pits or ends up in terrestrial or aquatic environments, especially in poorer countries.

The Water T Project

Clearly humans, aquatic mammals, and fish need clean water to survive. To bring awareness to the impact that water pollution is having on our oceans and waterways, I’ve created some thought-provoking drawings like the ones above to bring home the importance of water conservation and preservation. (I’m also working on a few more inspirational drawings.)

I collaborated with an old friend, Jim Arvanitis, Founder and President of Sea King CBD, to help drive home the point about how we now need more than ever to “Preserve and Conserve” our water. We’re calling this particular project¬† “The Water T Project”.

Each drawing will be printed on high-quality cotton materials using eco-friendly inks. Water T’s will be sold starting in July on this website and We plan on donating 75% of the profit from each Water T we sell to small non-profits who are involved in ocean and shoreline cleanup activities. More details soon to follow.