by Pete Green
What can we do?
Plastic pollution is reaching epidemic proportions. Current estimates suggest that as much as 12.7 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans every year. This equates to one truckload every minute.
As a sailor and outdoor enthusiast, I find it disgraceful to see so much plastic in our oceans and on our beaches. The environment that we hold so dear is being destroyed in front of our very eyes. Beyond the aesthetic damage is a much more serious problem. Plastics are entering the food chain at every level from plankton to whales. The lasting damage and potential legacy of our obsession with plastic could be completely catastrophic and as such, we must act now.
We all need to look closely at our own habits and adopt more environmentally friendly practices. If we all make a concerted effort then it really will make a difference.
- Stop using single-use plastic including bags, bottles and straws.
- Buy products with less packaging.
- Avoid products that use micro-beads.
- Recycle rather than put into landfill.
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products.
- Make sure nothing gets blown or dumped overboard when you are sailing.
- Pick up litter and dispose of it properly.
There are numerous organisations and groups working to help minimise ocean plastic pollution. By supporting these groups you can also help.
Marine Conservation Society – is the UK’s leading marine charity. We work to ensure our seas are healthy, pollution free and protected.
The Ocean Cleanup – a non-profit organization, developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.
By utilizing the ocean currents to our advantage, our passive drifting systems are estimated to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years’ time.
Clean Ocean Sailing – traditional sailing with a modern purpose – fishing for marine plastic.
Surfers Against Sewage – a community dedicated to the protection of oceans, waves, beaches and wildlife. We fight long and hard to protect what we love and we won’t stop until it’s completely clean, safe and protected for everyone, forever.
Just One Ocean – a UK registered conservation charity established to promote research and raise awareness of some of the issues affecting our ocean and ultimately our own survival.
“The whole of the ecosystems of the world are based on the healthy ocean and if that part of the planet becomes dysfunctional and goes wrong, then the whole of life on this planet will suffer”
Sir David Attenborough
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