Ocean pollution is epidemic, but we can change it.
How to face the harsh reality of dramatic ocean pollution caused by humanity and stay positive? Knowing that just of the coast of California there is the largest oceanic garbage site IN THE WORLD it’s not something we should be proud of.
It’s the people that caused this enormous pollution, and it needs to start with us to deal with this situation. Just to put things into perspective here are some awful statistics about the volume of damage we inflicted to the oceans
More than 18 billion pounds of plastic waste gets into oceans yearly
There are more than 45,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean
By the year 2050 plastic will weight more than all the fish in the sea
around 100,000 marine animals die from plastic entanglement, along with a large number of seabirds casualties
there are more than 500 dead zones where pollution makes life impossible for marine or plant life
Animals can’t distinguish plastic from food, and they ingest it making them starve to death in the end. It’s not just their problem though. Like many things in our planet, there is a circle of life and movement, and all this plastic pollution comes to us, the villains. Fish that eat microplastic fragments come to our dining tables, and we’re still not sure how that impacts our health. But one thing is for sure, destroying pristine marine environment can’t be right to Earth health and balance.
Be the change- Tips on how to reduce ocean plastic pollution
If you think that you can’t change anything by yourself, remember that assumingly little things added up can make a big difference. If we could respect nature as much as ourselves, it would be a good catalyst for a change in behavior. There is a couple of ways you can help reduce ocean pollution today.
Try not to use Single-Use Plastics at all
Some companies already ditched plastic straws and cups, but there are so many more unnecessary products like plastic bags, water or soda bottles, take-out food containers and dry-cleaning bags you could avoid using. Find alternatives, maybe one by one. Start with reusable shopping bags and work your way to others that are more difficult to replace. And always remember it’s not that hard, just a little step out of your comfort zone and you are a hero for the environment and not the part of 12 million metric tons of plastic that goes into the ocean every year.
Another thing you could do every day and what makes a big difference is recycling. Help change the fact that only 9 percent of plastic is currently recycled in the world. You can find how and where to recycle here.
Beach cleaning and activism
After these everyday little-big changes, there are some affirmative actions you can take. The ones that demand more effort like help cleaning up beaches or river shores, or just taking a stand with supporting bans on usage of plastic bags, straws, bottles and other.
If it’s too much for you to get personally involved (don’t quit on avoiding single-use plastic though), try to support an organization that tackles these issues like Plastic Soup Foundation, Oceanic Society, Plastic Pollution Coalition and others.
Hope on the horizon
One of the organizations that are already making great progress is The Ocean Cleanup. Along with the reduction of future plastics pollution and with their system they see a plastic-free ocean by 2050. The Ocean Cleanup model indicates that implementing their full-scale system could clean up to 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just five years. Time is of the essence here cause the plastic is still in larger debris, so removing it while it is still large would prevent breaking down into dangerous microplastics.
How it works
Ocean cleanup system consists of a 600- meter-long floater that sits at the surface and a tapered 3-meter-deep skirt below. Plastic can’t flow over it, and the skirt stops debris under the surface. Although current carry both plastic and the system, wind and waves propel the only system above water, so it moves faster than the plastics. Debris is thus caught by the system.
Back to our plan
Embracing new lifestyle micro changes with a sizeable ecological change, in the end, is an excellent way to inspire others. More active you become regarding tackling ocean pollution, more you will have the incentive to spread the word and lure your inner and outer circle from the dark side. So, the last tip would be spread the word and engage in an active, positive mindset change.