When you soak up the relaxing cadence of the rolling waves on the beach, no one will think of how the ocean has turned into garbage soup. But here’s the exciting reality: There are millions of tons of trash floating around in this water – and most of it is plastic. Plastic is, of course, particularly problematic because it is not biodegradable and therefore holds up much longer (up to 1000 years longer) than other types of waste. And we’re not talking about the people who throw their trash overboard. About 80 percent of marine litter comes from the land – either washed ashore or carried from streets to rivers during heavy rains due to rains and sewage overflows.
- In the ocean, plastic pollution affects whales, fish, and countless other marine species and their habitats. Scientists estimated that more than half of the world’s sea turtles and almost all of the world’s seabirds had eaten plastic in their lifetime.
Plastic pollution is also confusing beaches, coasts, and otherwise, beautifying snorkeling neighborhood and diving sites worldwide. Even in remote areas such as Midway Atoll. One of the reasons plastic pollution is such a problem is that it does not go away: “plastic is forever.” Instead, plastic waste is broken down into smaller and smaller particles, called microplastics, whose environmental impact is still determined.
We can do the best thing to secure our waterways to keep as much plastic waste out of the waste stream. And using eco-friendly packaging can play an important part. Many ways can make a big difference.
1. Wean Yourself off Disposable Plastics
90% of plastic items in our daily life are used once and then thrown away. Such as shopping bags, plastic wrap, disposable cutlery, straws, coffee cups. Note how often you trust these products and replace them with reusable versions. It only takes a few moments to bring your bags to the store.
2. Stop Buying Water Bottles
Almost 20 billion plastic bottles are thrown in the trash every year. Carry a recyclable, eco-friendly bottle in your bag so you will never be surprised looking for a Polish or Evian spring again. If your concern is about the quality of tap water, look for a model with a built-in filter that is readily available nowadays.
3. Bring Your Garment Bags to the Dry Cleaner
Invest in a zippered garment bag and have your cleaned items returned there instead of the plastic case. And while you’re at it, be sure to go to a dry cleaner that skips the peroxide, a toxic chemical found in some cleaning products, so that you can use your cloth packing bags for a more extended period.
4. Support Organizations Addressing Plastic Pollution
Many nonprofits work to reduce and eliminate plastic pollution from the ocean in a diversity of ways. Including:-
- Oceanic Society
- Plastic Pollution Coalition
- 5 Gyres
- Plastic Soup Foundation
These corporations rely on donations from people like you to continue their primary work. Even small contributions can make a big difference.
5. Purchase Items Secondhand
New electronic toys come with all kinds of plastic packaging – from frustrating and hard-to-break shells to twisted ribbons. Search the shelves at thrift stores, neighborhood garage sales, or online publications for items as good as they once were. You can also save a few dollars. And you can also use eco-friendly boxes wholesale, which helps to reduce plastic waste.
It seems obvious, but we are not doing well. Less than 14% of plastic packaging is recycled. Don’t know what can and cannot be put in the trash? Look at the number at the bottom of the container. Most beverage and liquid cleaning bottles will be
# 1 (PET), which is widely accepted by most recyclers.
# 2 (HDPE); usually slightly heavier milk, juice, and detergent bottles.
# 3 (PP); plastic cutler yogurt and margarine containers, ketchup bottles) can also be recycled in some regions. So try to use reusable packaging.
It should be a no-brainer, but if you can recycle disposable plastic (and the like), always recycle them. Currently, only 9% of plastics are recycled in the world. Recycling helps keep plastic waste out of the sea. If you need help finding a place to recycle plastic waste in your area, check out the Earth 911 Recycling Guide. It’s also essential to verify with your local recycling center what types of plastics they accept. These ideas are only lacerating the surface to help you solve the growing problem of plastic pollution in the oceans.
More importantly, we are all doing something, no matter how small. For more ideas and resources, join the Blue Habits Community of people worldwide engaged in happy daily activities that improve the health of the oceans.
7. Support a Bag Tax or Ban
Encourage your elected officials to follow the lead of those in San Francisco, Chicago, and nearly 150 other cities and counties bypassing or supporting legislation that makes the use of plastic bags less desirable.
8. Buy in Bulk
Disposable yogurt, travel-size toiletries, small packets of nuts – consider the relationship between the product and the package of items you often buy and choose the larger package instead of buying several smaller ones over time.
9. Bring Your Bag to the Cleaner
Invest in eco-friendly boxes and have your cleaned items returned there instead of the plastic case. (And while you’re at it, be sure to go to a dry cleaner that skips the peroxide for cleaning your goods. Peroxide is a toxic chemical found in some cleaning products.)
10. Put Pressure on Manufacturers
While we can make a difference through our habits, businesses have a much larger footprint. If you think a business can be smarter with its sustainable packaging, make your voice heard. Please write a letter, send a tweet, or hit them where it hurts: give your money to a more enduring competitor.