Plastic pollution is a huge problem for our oceans, with 8 million pieces of plastic entering the seas every day. It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean, by weight, than fish.
100,000 marine mammals, and 1 million sea birds die every year as a result of plastic pollution.
Why does it matter?
The oceans are so precious. They produce well over half the oxygen we breathe on Earth, and form intricate, important and fragile ecosystems. Plastic pollution is destroying this by killing marine life, destroying habitats and leaching harmful chemicals and carcinogens into the water. This not only limits the oceans’ ability to sustain our life on Earth, the toxins feed back into our lives too.
People Protect What They LoveJacques Cousteau
The oceans are also incredibly healing and beautiful environments to be in. Whether it’s a walk on the beach, surfing, or just dipping your toes, being near the ocean has proven positive effects on mental and physical health and wellbeing. There is so much disconnect between our lives on land and what is happening in our oceans, which surround our beautiful country. If we can reconnect people to these incredible environments and their importance, then hopefully we can nurture enough of a desire to protect them. If we can connect the plastic we are using on land to that which is ending up in the ocean, we can find more voices demanding for this to be stopped at source.
What can we do about it?
80% of marine litter originates from land based sources.
So the less we use on land, the less ends up in the ocean. Single use plastic is one of the biggest polluters; this is the plastic, often packaging, that is used for a matter of minutes before being discarded. A lot of it is completely unnecessary, only in use for our convenience. Our oceans are far too precious for us to be destroying them at the rate we are for something so unnecessary.
You can make a big difference to this problem as an individual. Change doesn’t happen overnight. But it is happening. There’s a growing movement of people caring about this subject, and demanding change. The companies responsible for using unnecessary plastic are having to listen to the increasing pressure to find sustainable alternatives, and the government is taking note too.
Reducing the plastic you use in your own life can be the first step to becoming part of this movement. It’s not about living completely plastic free, but reducing your impact where you can. This not only feels really good, but will help to inspire change in others too.
Start to look at the plastic you are using in your life, and see where you can switch it out.
Please don’t feel guilty about the stuff you can’t avoid, but rather feel proud at the stuff you can.
Check out some tips to reducing single-use plastic here.
Care about the subject, talk to your friends and family about it, explain to the shop assistant why you wouldn’t like the plastic bag thank you – let’s keep this conversation going, keep the momentum mounting, and reach that all-important tipping point.
Think your efforts collecting litter from the beach, river or park won’t make a difference? Check out ‘Why Bother With a Beach Clean’ here.
Thank you so much for everything positive you do.