You might have seen the recent photos of ocean pollution in Roatan – they went viral last month. There were articles and videos making the rounds online. And there has been much debate about the problem and possible solutions.
First things first, I want you to know that you won’t look at the sea around Roatan and be faced with a sea of plastic. You will see our typically turquoise water mixed with hues of blue.
But that does not mean there isn’t a very real problem here. Ocean pollution is a massive issue we all face right now – and it’s not just around Roatan.
The photos you might have seen really were taken here in the waters of the Bay Islands of Honduras. That plastic pollution doesn’t go away, it simply shifts around.
You see, the oceans don’t have walls or borders. Everything that makes its way into the sea can then reach the distant shores of islands on the other side of the world.
There is no stopping that movement.
The problem we all face is the amount of trash we humans produce. We have never appropriately addressed the problem of our own pollution. We use plastic and then we may or may not recycle it and much of it ends up in the ocean.
Ocean Pollution in Roatan
Ocean pollution is not just a local problem here in Roatan. Plastic pollution is a global issue that every coastal area bears witness to and suffers through.
But, if you don’t live near the coast, it might be easy to forget how bad the problem truly is right now.
Marine life is dying all around the world because of our ocean pollution. Their stomachs filled with bits of plastic, these creatures are being squeezed out of their own habitats because of human pollution.
The ocean pollution you might have seen in those viral photos is very real.
It is a real problem that will not go away until it is properly addressed.
And, while we would all love to see legislative responses to these problems to create long-term changes in industrial practices, we can do more as individuals right away.
Here in Roatan, that means supporting the efforts of the Roatan Marine Park and the Bay Islands Conservation Association, plus other similar organizations. Participate in beach clean-ups and pick up recent trash during your scuba dives.
Minimize your own impact while on the island, and carry those lessons back home with you. This is not a local issue.
We can also all choose to minimize our own personal usage of plastics, which isn’t as hard as it may seem!
How to Use Less Plastic
If those photos concern you – if you hate seeing our beautiful oceans destroyed by humans – you can start taking action today to make things better for everyone.
Tell the bartender you don’t need a straw, and then explain why.
Bring your own reusable coffee travel mug on your way to work – you might even get a discount for it!
Don’t use those small plastic stirrers for your coffee and bring your own metal silverware instead of using plastic wrapped plastic cutlery.
If you take an honest look around your own home, you’ll see the volume of plastic inside. Most products we buy include plastic. It’s an unfortunate reality. But we can all try to make better decisions about the amount of plastic we personally use.
Change starts with me, so I’ll be happy to talk to you about the ocean pollution in Roatan and how we can all do our part to make this world a better place for our kids.
I know my son, Quincy, deserves a better environment to play in than a beach with pollution washing ashore. It doesn’t matter where that pollution came from, it matters that we all do something to fix this global problem.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions about those viral photos of ocean pollution in Roatan. I’m always happy to discuss current events here on the island so you know exactly what life is like here before you invest.