Keeping the Sea Plastic Free
How can we keep plastic out of our oceans?
Where do i start? This is such a huge topic to cover , but i hope that this will help break down the key information so that we can all make even the smallest changes, because here at EcoFreaks it is all about reducing, reusing and recycling……
Plastic in our oceans has never been so prevalent, as it is now , to seriously reduce the amount of single use plastic that is currently dumped into our seas.
But first let’s try to understand what exactly is meant by plastic. Plastics come from both land and marine sources. Did you know there are 7 different types of plastic which are used and these can be broken down into the following categories, along with a brief description of what they are used for.
#PETE this is used mainly for clear water bottles.
#HDPE this is used for bleach bottles/ washing machine liquids.
#PVC-U this is used for wiring cables/ food tray and toys
#LDPE plastic bags/ plastic wrapping and cling film.
#PP butter or margarine tubs/ glass jar caps/ fresh soup containers.
#PS insulated disposable cups/ yoghurt pots and parcel packaging.
#Other reading glasses/ DVDs/ CDs/ some electrical connections and wiring and general household plastics.
Most of us recycle lots of plastic on a daily basis with our recycling bins that are used all over our country, with the hope that we are doing something good. But did you know that only around 8% is actually recycled.
When i first found this is out i was mortified as i have extra recycling bins, thinking i was doing more good than harm.
The shocking statistics speak for themselves.
Now i don't want to be all doom and gloom but i think its important to understand what this all means on the grand scale of things.
Did you know that on our UK beaches alone, for every mile there is 5000 pieces of plastic and 150 plastic bottles.
Globally we produce 381 million tonnes of plastic waste each year.
1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption contains plastic.
100% of baby sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs.
Plastic microbeads are estimated to be one million times more deadly than the sea water around it.
4.4billion straws are thrown away in the UK each year
80% of land plastics end up in our oceans
Plastics consistently make up to 60-90% of all marine debris studied.
60% of materials used for clothing are forms of plastic.
It can take between 20-1000years for a plastic bag to break down.
In the UK alone we use around 8million cotton buds, which were in the top 10 of items found during The Marine Conservation Society's Great British Beach Clean Up,
"So how can I make a difference?" I hear you say. "We put our recycling into our bins and jobs done," "Big companies should do more," "I dont have the time to recycle," "Will only me, really make any difference to keeping the sea plastic free?"
These are lots of questions that people ask, including myself!
We know Rome wasn't built in a day, but YES, you CAN make a difference to our Sea’s.
When we think of how much of our daily items we use for either around the house, in our cars, when out and about, are made from some form of plastic, its mind boggling as to how much plastic this adds up to. And right there is why it can be so disheartening to think “How can i make a difference?”
I have been where you are on your journey to reduce, reuse, recycle and be eco friendly and you absolutely can! At first when I was researching on what I could do to make a difference, I was overwhelmed by the amount of information, but over the years I have narrowed it down to 7 top tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle :)
The first one is pretty simple and makes more of an environmental impact that you might think…….
1) DITCH the plastic packaging with your fruit and vegetables! You can take your own reusable ones or go free . I am a large family so for us this is a huge amount of plastic to cut down on when you work it out over a month of food shopping
2) Use reusable bags.. Once you get into the habit of doing this it becomes second nature. If however you are like me and would lose your own head if it wasn't firmly attached to your neck , keep your bags in the car :)
3) Go straw free.. I was lucky enough to be given reusable stainless steel straws for Christmas one year, and I've never looked back. Plus they work great for a mcdonalds milkshake :D
4) Use reusable water bottles! Might sound like not a lot but in the grand scheme of things this also makes a massive difference to our environment.
5) Switch to bamboo loo roll ! Did you know that bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet! Its softer and stronger too, with out the need for bleaching.
6) Look for alternatives ! You never know what you might come across :) and then feel free to share your experiences
7) Say NO to balloons! Ok ,so call me a party pooper but deflated balloons cause catastrophic effects on all marine life :(
Well i hope this clarifies a few aspects on your journey to becoming an Eco Warrior! Untill next time ….. Remember reduce, reuse and recycle because awesomeness starts with you :).....