7 Ways to Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution
We’re using more plastic than ever today, so we must change our perspective in preparation for a plastic-free future. All we can do is see how plastic has reached our oceans in the past and how we can adapt our personal use of plastic, for times ahead.
WHAT IS PLASTIC POLLUTION?
Being cheap to produce and durable material, we have resulted in using plastic for pretty much everything. Consequently, accumulating and spreading to places it should not be, for example, our ocean. Adversely, it has affected our wildlife, habitats and humans. Unbelievably, researchers have announced that 8 million pieces of plastic are entering the oceans every single day.
WHEN DOES PLASTIC END UP IN OUR OCEAN?
During the transportation of rubbish to landfill sites, plastic is often blown away, because it’s so lightweight; landing in drains or running water systems, that eventually work their way to the sea.
When people litter. Rainwater and wind often will carry plastic waste into streams and rivers, through drains, which lead to the Ocean!
If products are washed down any drain systems, or when microfibres are released into waterways. E.g. every time cheap synthetic clothing is put through the washing machine, it is just the beginning of plastic fibres ending up in our oceans.
After industry spills occur near fresh or saltwater.
Often while being used or transported across the ocean, many items are lost at sea. E.g. products being transported in containers or fishing gear.
HOW CAN WE REDUCE OUR PERSONAL USE OF PLASTIC?
This past July in New Zealand we celebrated the banning of single-use plastic bags! #PlasticFreeJuly We shared our Akaroa Dolphin’s team ideas on our social media accounts and will carry on doing so with new research findings or products. Here are our single-use plastic replacements for our everyday lives:
Re-useable coffee cups
Most ‘disposable’ or ‘recyclable’ coffee cups cannot be recycled due to their plastic lining, so save the trees & decrease the amount of plastic waste by purchasing a groovy re-useable coffee cup.
Many of us layer on the sunscreen to protect us from the burning, in the summer, and then dive right into the ocean a couple of hours later without thinking about it. The problem with this is that chemical non-mineral based sunscreens are then being washed into the sea. As a result, having negative effects on our water wildlife; bleaching coral, causing nerve/muscular defects and oxidative stress in small organisms.
Strong and durable just like plastic, but with way more positive characteristics, mainly that it’s a natural material. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, only taking 59 days to replace a 60ft bamboo plant! It can be grown in poor soil, without the need for fertilisers, pesticides or much water. This plant also has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-odour and anti-septic properties. Used for pretty much anything! From toothbrushes & kitchenware to speakers & sunglasses!
Among the top 10 marine debris items are the classic plastic straw, so if you fancy a straw now and again, keep some re-useable straws in your draw. All there is to do is wash them along with the rest of your cutlery!
Toiletries that are not made with plastic microbeads
Toiletries made with plastic microbeads are everywhere. In; toothpaste, body scrubs, lipstick, deodorant & more. It is a really hard thing to think about when shopping, but if you have a second avoid products with ingredients listed as Polyethylene.
Wear clothing made with planet-friendly fibres
For example; wool, organic cotton, etc. Anything sustainably grown/made, biodegradable, durable, renewable.
40% better for the environment. Disposable nappies will rot in a landfill for 500 years.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog, and we end with a call to action for all readers! What small change can you make to your life, to help towards the fight for a Plastic Free Future?
Written by Sophie Wadley