A plastic world: A video on how we need to rethink the toxic effects of our increasing plastic intake

Dianna Cohen is a multi-media visual artist, painter and curator who creates two-dimensional and three-dimensional works using recycled plastic bags. She is a strong advocate for a plastic free world and works to reduce plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals and the environment.

An urgent need to rethink plastic-It is toxic for our environmnet, our oceans and us ( Source of video: Inktalks)

Diana Cohen works towards a plastic free world. She emphasizes that plastic lives forever- it may be broken down, but cannot be completely degraded. It has seeped into the environment and in the oceans. It covers the sea floors, creates garbage ‘islands’ and floats in the water columns giving rise to ‘plastic soup’. Turtles mistake these diaphanous plastic for jelly fish, whale autopsies show plastic in their stomachs - all marine life is affected by this seemingly omnipresent element.

Plastic pellets , called nurdles , usually made of recycled plastic, end up in oceans and act as a magnet for all various kinds of persistent organic pollutants, chemicals and pesticides, which stick to them. These are eaten and ingested by the entire marine chain. Fish have been found to have up to 50 pieces of plastic stuffed in their tiny bodies. In the middle of the Pacific ocean, in the albatross  nesting grounds over 200,000 of them are dying with stomachs full of plastic debris. In India, cows stomachs too have been found crammed with plastic bags.

Today we use huge amounts of plastic, thinking them essential to our daily needs. Not only is it polluting our land and our oceans, preparation of plastic use certain chemicals, which have been found to be linked to various illness, even affecting babies in vitro. Rivers are choked, ocean floors covered. Plastic reduction is an urgent major global problem that needs to be resolved today.

She laments that we are producing billions of tons of plastic every year, so a simple cleaning of the debris would just be a small drop in the bucket.

We need to turn off the faucet on how we actually use this stuff. We need to understand that plastic is toxic to the environment, the oceans and us. We need to end this global dependence of disposable plastic at school, home, work and all spheres of our lives.

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