I think we can all understand the massive issues surrounding plastic pollution and the ocean.
It’s probably something you hear about on the news or on Facebook, or on Netflix documentaries every week, but it doesn’t matter if you’re sick of hearing about it by now. It still needs to be talked about because everyone needs reminding now and then!
Every single day 8 million pieces of plastic are headed into our oceans, which are already apparently filled with around 165million tonnes of the stuff. It’s harming our wildlife (over 100,000 marine animals and 1 million seabirds are killed each year by plastic… and that’s just the ones that are found!), destroying the environment, and even has harmful effects on our health as humans too.
Maybe you already knew this, maybe you didn’t. But below are some small practical things each of us can do to help:
It might be painful and upsetting, but the best thing you can do is either research and find out the facts and issues for yourself online, or watch informational documentaries and videos on YouTube to understand the situation.
A Plastic Ocean is possible the most infamous documentary of this kind on Netflix at the moment. It’s hard-hitting, and will probably overwhelm you with things to do, but it’s important to watch.
Say no to unnecessaries
We all know plastic bags are a big no-no. Bringing canvas bags and organic cotton totes* with you whenever you leave the house just in case you end up popping to the shops is definitely a sensible idea!
Plastic bottles are also a massive issue. One million plastic bottles are sold around the world every MINUTE, and a large amount of those are in developed countries where tap water is safe to drink.
Did you know that a plastic bottle can last up to 450 years in the sea? And even then all it does is break up into smaller and smaller pieces, and these (as far as we know!) will never truly disappear. If we keep filling up the ocean with these items that don’t break down, how quickly ’til it all fills up?
Please say no to plastic bags and bottles, and opt for reusable water bottles like these stainless steel insulated ones* (in cute pastel colours!) instead!
Reduce what you can
There are so many other plastic items in our life too, probably that you don’t even notice anymore! Things like toothbrushes, disposable razors, drinking straws, plastic forks and pots that your lunch comes in from Tesco… there’s just so much of it!
I’d urge you to have a little research into the ‘Zero Waste’ movement for some inspiration on how to reduce your plastic and general waste. It’s obviously not an achievable lifestyle for everyone, but there are usually some fantastic tips to be found on how to cut down on the insane amount of plastic in our lives!
^ Jumper from Watershed
Don’t be passive
If you see someone littering, pick it up, and even stop and ask them why they did it and where they think their waste goes. You might feel like a dick for two minutes but imagine if everyone did this all the time, people would get fed up with being lectured and might actually recycle or cut down on their waste!
When you’re walking along the beach and you see rubbish, don’t just leave it there. Pick it up and take it home with you to recycle or at least dispose of properly.
Share facts and documentaries with your friends to make them aware too. Try to stop your group using straws and disposable items when you’re out, and generally set an example with your actions.
Join local initiatives & support charities
If you live by the sea, chances are there are probably some local beach clean initiatives near you. In Cornwall, the SAS (Surfers Against Sewage) is a charity that organises regular beach cleans all over the South West with their reps, which are great to get involved in. They also raise awareness and promote petitions against plastic pollution, so are generally a great charity to support!
How will you help fight the plastic pollution?
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