(Dive Travel Business News - June 15, 2012) -- One week ago, the world celebrated World Oceans Day - the UN-designated day for the global community to celebrate and take action for our shared ocean. One of the greatest threats to the ocean is also one of the most insidious because it’s so mundane you probably don’t even notice it. Look around you right now... how much plastic do you see?
Plastic has become intertwined with our society’s throw away mentality, our culture of convenience, and our over consumption of throwaway products and packaging—things that we use one time and then, without another thought, we throw them away. But where is AWAY?? THERE IS NO AWAY!! Away is over flowing landfills, clogged rivers, islands of trash in our oceans, and toxins that eventuallly absorb into our own bodies and the bodies of marine animals.
The ocean is downstream from all of us so no matter where we live, we can all help address the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean. Each year a huge amount of plastic eventually makes it into coastal waters and harms ocean life. Many animals such as seabirds, sea turtles, dolphins and whales die every year from plastic entanglement, drowning or starvation because they fill up their stomachs on plastic they mistake for a staple food - the common jellyfish.
Reduce Plastic Use
Help stop plastic pollution at its source. As consumers, we each have the power to reduce demand. And if you encourage family and friends to do the same, the more good we can do to keep the ocean clean and safe. Here are many disposable plastic products everyone can reduce in our daily lives.
Plastic Water Bottles
Invest in a reusable water bottle and filter water if necessary. Help the ocean and save money, it’s a win-win for you and the ocean. On average, Americans now use four plastic water bottles a day, the highest ever recorded. Let’s turn the tide against wasteful plastic consumption.
People use nearly one trillion plastic bags each year, and only 1-2 % of these bags actually get recycled. Unfortunately, the rest take hundreds of years to decompose but well before that time, many will end up being ingested by sea birds, sea turtles, whales and dolphins that mistake plastic for jellyfish. Remember to bring a reusable bag for food and other shopping needs and save a life.
Biodegradable Plastic Bags are NOT the Answer.
In fact they create a problem for recycling depots as biodegradable plastic bags cannot be recycled like standard plastic bags. While a noble thought, biodegradable plastic breaks down into toxic soup that degrades the environment and will eventually be ingested by animals and humans in the food and water supply. Truly biodegradable bags are made from organic material like corn,
Straws, Cups to-go, Food Containers and Utensils
Bring your own reusable products like mugs when you get coffee and take a pass on the plastic utensils when you get take-out food. And if you must have a straw, there a number affordable options to buy. Ask your favorite take-out stands to switch to non-styrofoam non-plastic carry-out container alternatives that are now readily available.
Be Aware Of Packaging
Pay attention to how much incidental plastic that comes with what you buy, your candy, headphones, pens and many other items, all come in plastic packaging. Strive to cut down on your daily plastic consumption and reward corporations that package responsibly by buying their products.
Is Your Life Too Plastic?
Watch the movie Bag It., an award-winning documentary about plastic and our throw away lifestyle that must undergo a dramatic change if we are to survive. Here's the Trailer.
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