Ocean Wildlife and Garbage – Limiting the Trash That Goes In

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Trash continues to fill our oceans and create pollution “islands”. At the current rate of plastic entering oceans, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in our oceans by weight than there are fish by 2050.

 

That fact should scare everyone. In the last few years, people have made big changes to the way they view plastics and how they can stop harming the sea. I’m sure that you have seen many businesses beginning to use paper straws/cups or reusable cups/cutlery. This is their attempt to remove as much plastic from getting to the ocean as they possibly can. Laws have even popped up to ban single-use plastic items in locations like New York City, Miami Beach, and Seattle.

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There is a lot more that needs to be done to minimize the impact that we have and if you are wanting to reduce your single use plastics then here are a few tips:

 

1.     Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If you must have a straw, try using a reusable glass straw or stainless steel straw.

2.     Bring along a reusable produce bag. A single-use plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade.

3.     Replace bottles with boxes where possible. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which can be recycled more easily than plastic.

4.     Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop

5.     Bring your own container for your restaurant left-overs since many restaurants use Styrofoam boxes, plastic, or aluminum foil. 

6.     Don't use plasticware at home. Also, be sure to request that restaurants not pack them in your take-out box.

7.     Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It's healthier and better for the environment.

8.     Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.

Plastic is dangerous to the ecosystem of the oceans and all of it’s inhabitants. Everything from fish, sea-turtles, dolphins, whales, and many others are getting caught up in plastic, eating pieces of plastic, or having the microparticles of plastic floating around their natural habitat and eventually ending up inside the fish. Plastics are non-biodegradable and often find their way, along with other waste, into waterways and oceans. When they enter the ocean plastics simply break down into smaller pieces until they turn into microparticles. These microparticles are naturally ingested by fish. It is estimated that 90 percent of seabirds have ingested plastic microparticles.

 

With rising population numbers, it will be difficult to combat this growing threat of plastic in our oceans but every little bit helps. If we could all reduce the amount of single-use plastics that we use on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis, then we can at least reduce the chances that there will be another “trash island” like the one in the pacific ocean that is currently the size of the state of Texas.

 

If you would like to know more about what you can do or are interested in reducing your plastic usage, contact me.