For over 30 years, pieces of a very distinct Garfield phone have been washing up on beaches in Brittany, France baffling locals and environmental groups as to the origin of the once-popular item. Since the phone parts were in remarkably good condition it indicated that they were being “belched from the ocean” as the Washington Post explained. Claire Simonin-Le Meur, president of the environmental group Ar Viltansoù, went on a mission to find the source of the lasagna-loving cat and after a tip from a local farmer, discovered a rusty shipping container in a hard-to-reach cave. Unfortunately, the container is buried beneath rocks and isn’t accessible so it will likely continue to litter Garfields for years to come. As KETV reported, “nearly 200 phones and phone pieces washed ashore within a 15-mile stretch of beach near Brest in 2018 alone.”
The Washington Post explained that in northwestern France, “the Garfield phone has become like an unwitting Smokey Bear, the mascot for the importance of ocean cleanup and the dangers of microplastics polluting the ocean.”
Take a look at the video of how Simonin-Le Meur’s team (it’s in French but you’ll get the point) went searching for the phones:
Why This Matters: As Endgadget explained, “since 2008, around 12,000 shipping containers have been lost due to capsizing and other accidents at sea, according to the World Shipping Council. Extrapolating back to 1985, that makes a lot of plastic crap that has been accidentally dumped into the ocean.” While this story has a cute, nostalgic factor, it demonstrates that plastic pollution is anything but pleasant and will continue to plague us for years to come. This story underscores that legislative action like the European Parliament’s recent sweeping legislation to ban everyday plastic pollution is necessary to prevent more plastic from entering the environment.