Perhaps I'm too preoccupied with trash. By many measures, trash's aesthetic felonies and in-your-face visuals (and smellables) exaggerate its true environmental hazard.
But I just came across a series of photos that remind me why I care. They're photos of dead albatrosses from the Midway Atoll, a 2.4 square mile island northwest of Hawaii, with stomachs full of plastic debris. It's not the first time I've come across photos like these, but they remind me of how the insignificant detritus of our lives can have profound impacts.
I also came across this website, which lists a series of peer-reviewed articles about the effect of plastic pollution on the oceans.
My own efforts don't do much to dent the estimated 300 billion pounds of plastic debris in the ocean, along with untold masses in fresh waterways and on land. But what these reports agree on is that once plastic gets into the ocean and gets dispersed and degraded by the elements, it's all but impossible to remove without great cost and damage to the ocean ecosystem.
Perhaps the millions of small actions that have permeated the seas with plastic need millions of small actions to counteract.