World Environment and Oceans Days - Beat Plastic Pollution
This week it is World Environment and World Oceans Day. Each year they pick a theme to focus on and this year they have both picked "Plastic Pollution." World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to honour, help protect and conserve our world's shared ocean. Whereas the UN's World Environment Day encourages worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
The ocean is important as it generates more than half of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs the most carbon from it, it helps feed us, regulates our climate, cleans the water we drink, offers a variety of medicines and contains a whole ecosystem of marine life.
However, there is an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic that end up in our oceans each year. This ranges from plastic bottles and plastic bags to microbeads. Due to the plastic travelling on ocean currents, it is ending up all over the world, even trapped in Arctic ice. The impacts this is having on marine life is devastating. Most of us will remember the harrowing scenes from Davd Attenborough's Blue Planet series of the Albatross dead with plastic inside their stomachs or the Whale carrying her dead calf around with her after it died from drinking her pollution contaminated milk.
Although the majority of plastic bottles are technically "recyclable", most of them don't actually make it to the recycling plant. However, plastic doesn't actually biodegrade, it photodegrades, which means that the plastic breaks down into smaller, more toxic fragments which then pollutes the land and ocean. This then leads to them being ingested by animals, which can then be eaten by humans, or it can kill them.
THINGS WE CAN DO TO HELP - PLASTIC ALTERNATIVES
-Use tote/canvas bags instead of plastic ones
-Invest in a glass/steel straw and say no to plastic ones in bars
-Invest in reusable coffee cups and water bottles and take them with you to coffee shops.
-Shop in bulk food stores - bring your own containers, household cleaners, pasta, lentils etc.
-Buy fresh bread in bags
-Buy fresh fruit and veg loose and bring your own bags
-Buy bar soaps instead of bottles - lush do some great packaging free products.
-Stop using cling-film and use reuseable tupperware.
There are obviously many more ways we can help reduce our own plastic consumption and I have shared some of these links below.
Mother Nature Network
Friends Of The Earth
Also I don't claim to do all of these methods, but I am slowly working towards reducing my plastic consumption as much as possible, which is all anyone can reasonably do.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post and you are leaving feeling inspired to ditch the plastic!