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Alicia Maddox - Dead Zones in the World’s Oceans

One of the most devastating environmental issues affecting our planet today is the high level of pollution within our world’s oceans. From heavy weight plastics, to Styrofoam, and even metallic waste materials – the oceans are rife with out trash and its having a devastating effect not only on the marine life that call it home but the environment as a whole. Alicia Procello Maddox, President of the Avery Dennison Foundation – a strong force in the world’s sustainability movement, has pledged to do whatever they can to help clean the oceans, and make it suitable enough for life to not only survive, but prosper! As one of the world’s leaders in pressure sensitive plastic manufacturing, Avery Dennison as a corporation is definitely showing a great example to the rest of world of what corporate responsibility means in 2018.

With Alicia Procello Maddox and her team at the helm of the foundation, they have done a masterful job in changing the course of the environment in countries and regions around the world. Despite her prowess for all things sustainability, Alicia Procello Maddox may have met her toughest challenge yet. The world’s oceans are going through one of the worst periods in the planet’s history. The North Pacific Gyre also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, occupies a relatively stationary area made up completely from garbage (mostly plastic), that is twice the size of Texas.

Waste material from across the North Pacific Ocean, including coastal waters off North America and Japan, are drawn together. Texas is one of the largest states in the union and floating in the Pacific is a pile of garbage double the size – in essence this could be the beginning of a brand-new land mass formation or a new island. The idea of that is simply unfathomable – and such environmental devastation has a terrible effect on the wildlife and the environment. The area has become a “Dead Zone” where wildlife is unable to survive and are dying at alarming rates. While this is the largest of such “dead zones”, there are now over 500 globally – and they cover over 245,000 square kilometers, roughly the size of the entire United Kingdom. For Alicia Procello Maddox these “dead zones” are a high priority – as they cause some of the worst devastation and are growing exponentially with new garbage being dumped into the oceans every day.

“Dead zones” are characterized by an extremely low amount of oxygen within the water – essentially making it impossible for marine life to survive and leading to the collapse of ENTIRE oceanic ecosystems. These dead zones are caused by the excessive garbage dumping into the ocean water, as well as an excess of nutrients from sewage outfalls and agricultural runoff from those with poor farming practices. This goes to one of the biggest initiatives by Alicia Procello Maddox and her team at Avery Dennison. They have set up workshops and offered free training to a number of small farming communities around the world – offering them a vital education on new-age sustainable farming practices, which include waste disposal practices, composting, and sewage alternatives. The team at the Avery Dennison Foundation is doing everything they can to get farmers and agricultural societies to change their ways, and adopt a more sustainable, marine-friendly way of life. The people of lands like China, where environmental pollution peaks, and oceanic dumping is at its highest, will also eventually lose badly as a result of their ways. With a high percentage of their diet and their exports being fish – the high level of ocean dumping has caused a number of “dead zones” within formerly valuable fishing areas – forcing fisherman to find alternative locations. More than anything the hope for Alicia Procello Maddox is that they not only adopt such practices, but the government instills and mandates more sustainable, marine-friendly agricultural practices – as well as outlawing ocean dumping, and actually stationingpersonnelto ensure it does not occur.

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