Self-centred plastic soup

Individuals have a lack of moral responsibility for plastic waste to achieve collective action on the plastic soup

The plastic soup is one of the main ecological problems in the world at this moment. I knew of the term plastic soup and that there is a lot of plastic in the ocean but after some research I realized how big this problem really is. At this moment there are soups with plastic in the ocean even bigger than the United States. However these are not the only places where the plastic is found. It is found almost everywhere in the ocean and there are beaches where the tide brings in so much plastic that the sand isn’t even visible anymore.

Research shows that in seafood a lot of plastic is being found. Many people eat seafood so we consume plastic as well. Research has shown that these plastics coming from the water are a health risk. It doesn’t only affect people but many animals as well, they are found death with plastic in their stomach. I think this should be enough reason to do something. We should all take collective action on this waste problem in oceans.

The difficulty is that many people do not realize how big the problem is, just like I didn’t realize it. Anna Cummins, co-founder of Gyres Institute, notes this as follows:

"One of the difficulties with this plastic issue is that it's so hard to engage the public in feeling the urgency... People want to see an island of garbage, and when they see images of blue waters, they think that it's not really a big deal."

On top of that nobody really wants to do something about the waste because it takes time and effort to do so. It is very easy that your waste just disappears when you throw it away. Doing nothing to prevent the plastic soup is for their individual rational self-interest at this moment the best option. This is because it costs time and is more expensive to for instance throw your waste in a dustbin than to just drop it on the ground. Our society today is really focused on the individual, you. People want themselves to be happy no matter what it may cost others.

So people miss a motivation to do something about it. The motivation at this moment for people should be a moral motivation. A motivation that is founded on the idea that you’re not alone on this world, that we have a world to care for and that the next generations will be able to live healthy as well. Right now a lot of people are living only for their individual benefits and do not feel responsible for the plastic soup in the ocean. We should all wake up and take collective action to solve this ecological problem which influences the whole world. When we do we will all be responsible for a cleaner ocean and in this way a cleaner and more healthy world.