"A Plastic Ocean"
On September 23, during this year's annual Celebrating the Waters weekend, our Federated Church Vestry was the site for one of the many events sponsored by the Orleans Pond Coalition. It was a showing of the remarkable feature-length documentary film called A Plastic Ocean. This project was conceived by The Federated Church member Jan Brink, and we in the church's Care for Creation Team were pleased to help make it happen.
About sixty people from the Lower Cape packed the vestry for the film, among them about fifteen members of our church. It was clear during the film that people's attention was completely captured – a fact borne out of the next afternoon at a follow-up session at the Orleans Historical Society led by a Center for Coastal Studies staff person who is an expert on dealing with plastics pollution. A Plastic Ocean was filmed in 22 locations around the world, and it first appeared in 2016. It tells a graphic story of how plastic products of all sorts, casually thrown away by people everywhere, are making their way into all the oceans. Plastic is virtually indestructible but it gets broken down into very small pieces – small enough to be consumed by a variety of marine creatures. The film showed unforgettable scenes of the horrible aftermath among turtles, fish, whales and seabirds that had swallowed large amounts of plastic.
It also was clear that besides the harm done to such creatures, we who eat fish (and shellfish) of-ten are ingesting remnants of plastic throwaways capable of causing considerable havoc in human bodies.
Are there ways we can be more mindful of how we deal with the plastic products that are now virtually everywhere in our society? How can we avoid them? If we use them, how can we most responsibly dispose of them?
During the winter the Care for Creation Team is planning occasions when we at The Federated Church will have an opportunity to address such questions and see how we can create new habits that do a better job of avoiding harm to our fellow creatures and to ourselves.
Care for Creation Team