Saving Marine Life one Straw at a Time
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
It was the '60s when the first observation of plastic debris was found in the ocean, and since then, plastic pollution is something we've been warned about time and time again. So, why is plastic still one of the greatest threats to oceans worldwide?
According to an article written on The World Economic Forum, world plastic production has doubled over the past 50 years, and quite simply, I believe that a high percentage of mankind turn a blind eye to the crisis.
Shamefully, I was once guilty of doing so, but since watching a documentary about the marine environment (and crying like a baby), I started to read further into the problem, researching how I can do my bit to spare innocent marine life the pain and suffering caused by our consumption of plastic. Once you’ve seen footage of a helpless turtle with a destroyed flipper having plastic bags removed from its stomach, you’ll want to do your bit too.
As a new advocate for turning back the plastic tide, I decided to start with these two simple steps:
1. Reduce my use of plastic, especially single use plastic.
The first thing I set out to do was to avoid plastic paraphernalia whenever I could. This included plastic straws, water bottles, bags, cutlery and product packaging. It's difficult to go cold turkey on all of these things, especially product packaging, but nevertheless, every little helps. (Not sponsored by Tesco.) Luckily, most bars and restaurants now have a no-straw policy in place and it's easy enough to purchase a reusable water bottle and shopping bag.
2. Recycle. Properly.
Initially, this one confused me because different councils have their own rules regarding what you can and can't recycle (so check yours before you do). I'd been recycling for years - throwing all my paper, plastic and empty spaghetti and sausages tins into my green bin, but ultimately learnt, that is not enough. Why? Because unclean material can contaminate other products in your bin, meaning everything can end up going to waste, including all of your plastic. So make sure you're giving your empty food containers a good rinse and dry before you sling 'em!
Although I'm only making small changes, I'm much happier knowing that I'm doing something. (Currently smiling whilst looking at my bright yellow, reusable Aldi bag.) These steps may only seem small, but if we all chip in, a difference will be made.
If you're still not doing anything to contribute, may I recommend watching A Plastic Ocean, Blue Planet II, and Drowning in Plastic.