Plastic pollution is a huge problem for marine wildlife.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, 80 per cent of marine pollution is generated by land-based activities and it’s having a devastating effect on our oceans.
In March this year a sperm whale that washed up on a beach in Spain was found to have died due to nearly 30 kilograms of trash that blocked its digestive system.
And last month a diver shared video of masses of floating plastic at a popular dive spot in Bali, saying that he had “never seen anything like” it before.
Welcome to a (plastic) island paradise, a remote and uninhabited island wilderness in the South Pacific.
Common items found in the ocean:
- Plastic bottles
- Cigarette butts
- Food packaging
- Plastic bags
- Light globes
The problem is complex and requires a number of solutions. But there are some surprisingly simple things that consumers can do to help cut back their plastic pollution and reduce marine debris.
Here are just a few conscious choices you can make to help.
- Reduce your everyday waste
Cleanaway Waste Management says the easiest step you can take to reduce your everyday waste is to eliminate single-use plastic includes things like plastic bags, straws and water bottles, which are some of the most common waste collected in the environment.
Here are a few ways you can go about reducing your plastic consumption:
Say ‘no’ to plastic shopping bags.
Forgo plastic straws
Buy fewer products. For example, the Government’s Your Energy Savings campaign says the same cleaner can be used on your mirrors, tiles and shower recess. Same with cosmetic, skin and hair care items — many of which end up in our waterways, and as landfill
Purchase a long-life reusable drink bottle or keep cup and keep them in your bag or at work.
Try buying in bulk. Only buy in bulk if you know you are going to use the product — like toilet paper or laundry powder. By buying in bulk you’re using less packaging. And it also saves you money at the checkout.
Limit your use of chemicals. Basically, what goes down our drains ends up in our waterways and in the ocean
Reuse items or try buying second-hand. By choosing reused or recycled products, you’re helping to create a market for used goods and supporting the recycling industry.
What can be put in recycling bins?
- Newspaper, glossy magazines, phone directories, junk mail
- Cardboard boxes and general cardboard, such as toilet rolls
- Office paper, scrap paper and other general paper, such as envelopes
- Liquid paperboard such as milk and juice cartons
- Plastic products with identification codes 1-7
- Empty steel cans, aluminium soft drink cans, clean aluminium foil and pie trays, empty aerosol cans
- Empty glass bottles and jars
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