A recent video taken in the Dominican Republic highlights the global crisis surrounding single-use plastics and the power of imagery.
The video, which was shared by the conservation organization Parley for the Oceans, shows waves of garbage—mostly plastic and styrofoam—crashing onto the shores of the country’s capital city Santo Domingo. It’s a disturbing sight as the garbage is so dense the water below is barely visible. Images and footage such as this are important vehicles to bring about change. In fact, it proved to be quite powerful in recruiting clean-up help from the government.
Since the 13th of July, Parley for the Oceans has removed 1,000 tonnes of garbage from the region, but more arrives all the time. Ocean pollution is having a negative impact on some of the most remote islands around the world as well as our polar regions. Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans said, “In the past we sent postcards with magical beaches and palm trees. Now, it's waves of plastic trash. Unless we all act now, future generations won't even believe the postcard scenes ever existed. We are calling for a Material Revolution – plastic has to go.” I absolutely agree and think documenting this issue is of the utmost importance. At the end of the day, imagery has an enormous amount of power. Where we choose to point our lenses, and the images we share has an impact on all of us.
Parley for the Oceans intends to turn a portion of the waste into Ocean Plastic®, which is turned into "products that act as symbols of change and fund the battle against marine plastic pollution."