Episode 109: The Plastic Problem

Original Airdate: 
Monday, December 24, 2012 - Sunday, December 30, 2012
Next Airdate: 
Monday, May 13, 2013 - Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eco Company goes to the beach! Because beaches and lakes are popular recreation areas, they often become a wasteland of plastic and garbage that people leave behind. But we found a girl scout troop that has adopted a Northern California beach and is determined to keep it free of trash and waste. Jessica catches up with them on a beach clean-up day. Some of what they find is very surprising.

Where does all the plastic and trash go once it gets into the Pacific Ocean? A lot of it ends up in what is known as the Pacific Garbage Patch, an area of swirling waters twice the size of Texas. A scientific mission called Project Kaisei takes us out to the Northern Pacific Gyre to take a look and to remove as much of the waste as they can. What they find there is very shocking.

An off-shore oil rig eruption near Santa Barbara in 1969 created an environmental disaster on the pristine beaches of that coastal resort area. And it was that event that inspired a group of activists to establish the first Earth Day. Adam got the chance for a one-on-one talk with one of those founders. Denis Hayes says the impact of that first Earth Day was more than they could have hoped for or dreamed about.

Finally Brendan meets up with two teens who are on a mission to reduce the amount of plastic in the products and the packaging of stuff we buy. They are doing it by getting behind the camera...and in front of it as well!