Plastic Pollution is one of the most serious environmental issues right now. It is threatening to permanently damage this planets eco-systems past the point of no return.
If like me you are completely obsessed with our oceans, then, like me you will be devastated with how, we as a race are damaging it with our attitude towards single use plastics. Recently, the issue has been broadcasted a lot more with the likes of the BBC TV programme Blue Planet 2.
Here are just a few few facts for you to digest:
- There is approximately 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic in our oceans, weighing a massive 269,000 tons. That is about the same as 1345 adult blue whales.
- Plastic is strong, flexible and durable making it extremely useful in many circumstances but this also means it never really breaks down.
- Did you know a plastic bottle can last for 450 years in our oceans, the bottle will slowly fragment into smaller and smaller pieces, which eventually ends up as microscopic plastic and this never actually goes away.
- Unfortunately, this has a massive effect on out marine life and actually kills 100,000 marine animals and 1 millions seabirds every year.
- Between 5m and 13m tonnes of plastic ends up into the world’s oceans each year to be ingested by sea birds, fish and other organisms, and by 2050 it is predicted the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish.
So what can we do to help?
There are a few small steps we can include within our daily routines that will make a huge difference:
Educate yourself and others
There are loads of documentaries regarding plastic pollution, as well as lots of youtube videos, although these are quite upsetting to watch (have a box of tissues ready) they will help you understand the effect that plastic pollutions is having on our oceans and marine life and how we can change this.
If you see someone dropping litter, challenge them, explain to them the effect of their actions and where their litter is going to end up. This may make you feel a little uncomfortable but if we all ignored it then we are just as bad as the person dropping the litter.
Share posts on social media, talk to your friends and family and make them aware of the situation. Knowledge is power.
Do a quick clean when you visit a beach. If you see plastic/beach litter please don’t just walk by, pick it up. Most beaches will have recycling bins or general waste bins in the car parks. Also, it is a great way to get the kids out running around and helps to educate them.
Say no to single use products and swap to more sustainable items such as
- Reusable bags instead of plastic bags.
- Bamboo toothbrushes instead of the plastic type, my personal favourite is from Wearebristle who do a fab subscription, so you get a fresh one delivered to your door on a regular basis, they are completely bio-degradable.
- Say no to straws – 8.5 billion straws are used in the UK each year alone. If you are given a straw with your drink just kindly hand it back, to find out more information on eradicating single use plastic straws please check out the FinalStraw. I got my reusable stainless straws from ecostrawz.
- Get yourself a reusable coffee cup. Another of my personal favourites is from the Keepcup company, they are very stylish and save you 25p per cup of coffee you purchase when ordering with your keepcup (please see my keepcup post).
- Try not to buy single use bottled drinks, get yourself a lovely reusable water bottle, there are a fantastic range of these bottles, I use the two minute beach clean bottle, I just love the look of it and the money goes to their beach clean schemes. There are 20,000 plastic bottles purchased every second, with less than 50% of these being recycled. Find them here if you fancy getting your hands on one.
- Use bamboo utensils instead of single use throw away utensils. A slice of green can get you kitted out with some great looking bamboo alternatives.
- Try and buy as much unpackaged food as possible. It has become a normality in first world countries to over package everyday produce. By boycotting the packaged goods, shops will have to change their behaviour.
Join local charities and initiatives
Here are a few amazing charities and initiatives who are dedicated to tackling the plastic pollution problem, feel free to follow and support: