There are varying levels that plastic can affect our oceans. Every year it is stated that more than 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced. They can be made to be used for all different types of purposes including household items, packaging, building, vehicles and electronics.
Plastic materials are used to create a variety of products because they are cheap, strong, light and easy to work with. Of the 300 million tonnes of plastic that have been produced regularly, more than half of this are used to create single use items. These include plastic water bottles, toothbrushes, shampoo & conditioner bottles, straws, shopping bags and more. Sadly, the list goes on and on.
I'm sure if you are sitting down reading this article in your home, bedroom or work space, you would easily be able to count more than 10 articles of plastic that are around you right now. And of that number, how many of these items are you actually using? If you were to throw it away, how would you dispose of it?
NOT SO FUN FACT: DID YOU KNOW IT TAKES AN ESTIMATED 20 YEARS TO DECOMPOSE A PLASTIC BAG? 450 YEARS FOR A PLASTIC BOTTLE AND 600 YEARS FOR A FISHING LINE.
The funny thing is however, even though the item is decomposing, with exposure to UV rays and the ocean rays, plastic can never really decompose as it usually just breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments known as microplastics.
One of the most distressing obstacles that has come to light throughout the plastic pollution problem is the effect that it can have on marine life.
There are countless disturbing images online of marine life entangled or having ingested plastic waste. Marine life ingesting plastic waste has a detrimental impact on the sea's ecosystems, with animals often mistaking plastic as prey, resulting in the animal to die of starvation as their stomachs are filled with debris rather than nutrients. Floating plastics contribute to the problem by spreading invasive organisms and bacteria. Which again has a catastrophic effect on ocean ecosystems.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP?
- Create more awareness around plastic pollution.
- Recycling and the reuse of plastic materials to reduce the environmental impacts of open landfills to manage domestic waste.
- It might not be your rubbish but it is OUR PROBLEM and we only have one earth, so make sure you pick up all the rubbish wherever you are walking.
- Place all rubbish in the correct bins and if you are around coastal areas, ensure that bins are not overflowing whereby your rubbish can easily fly into the ocean.
- Opting for more reusable products such as our Eco Tide tote shopping bags, metal straws and BPA free water bottles. That straw that you walk past washed up on the coast line could save a sea turtles life.
- Try to minimise wastage at all costs.
REMEMBER: THE SMALLEST CHANGE CAN MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE!