Plastic Oceans are supported by many worldwide campaigns including to name a few Greenpeace, WWF and one of our favourite charities – Surfers Against Sewage. Plastic Oceans uses education to raise awareness, science and looks into the right interventions at business level. The Plastic Oceans Foundation is unique by using film to capture attention globally. Plastics oceans works with scientists from all over the globe in both laboratory settings and directly on the ocean.
It’s time to create change as 8 million tons of plastic enters our oceans. Plastic has been a revolution to the world due to its qualities of being versatile, cheap and fitting in with our hectic lifestyles. However, there are alternatives which will help the long term health of our ocean environment. Packaging is one of the main culprits with bottles of water contributing highly to the global issue. Plastic Oceans points out that also the process of making bottled water uses “6 times as much water per bottle as there is in the container”.
The ocean in incredibly important to not just the marine eco system but to us. The ocean plays an important role. For example a large proportion of oxygen that we breath is produced by marine plants. 97% of the Earths water supply is contained in the ocean. CO2 emissions produced by us on earth get absorbed by the sea. In 2010 alone, 215 million metric tons of plastic was discovered in the ocean.
What Are The Other Ocean Pollutants?
Our oceans are not only polluted with plastics. From industrial sources a scary array of pollutants enter our oceans including asbestos, lead, oils, phosphates, petrochemicals, nitrate and mercury. Land run-off is another contributing factor. Fertilisers, petroleum, pesticides and animal waste enters the sea especially after heavy rainfall. So even unintentionally our oceans are becoming polluted. Oil spills and general litter have affected the ocean over the years. Plastic can take over 400 years to degrade in water so it’s impact is prolonged.
Why Should Polluting Our Oceans Cause Concern For Us
Not only do pollutants damage amazing marine environments and marine creatures, they also effect our health and wellbeing too! Chemicals contaminate water supplies and food chains. We are usually at the end of the food chain and these chemicals get passed on to us. The impact of these chemicals are that they can cause hormonal problems, reproductive issues, nervous system damage and kidney damage. Bacteria in the sea changes mercury in the water to a toxic chemical called Methylmercury. This chemical has been known to cause Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Pollution on beaches cause general health complaints from stomach aches, diarrhoea and rashes.
Anyone can help the campaign. One great way to raise awareness is to host a film screening. This could be with family, friends in the general community and within schools. You could join Plastics Oceans Global Movement hoping to stop people using single use plastics or donate to Plastics Oceans. Head over to the Plastic Oceans Foundation website here to create change.
Even small changes by us can all contribute to a massive change worldwide. As surfers and water users these pollution issues should be important to address. Here are a few ways suggested by Plastic Ocean as to how you can contribute now to reducing plastic in our oceans.
Stop buying and using plastic straws.
Stop using plastic drinks bottles and opt for reusable bottles, glasses and mugs. 500 million bottles are used worldwide and reducing the use of them could make a massive impact.
Stop using plastic bags and use alternative reusable options. 1 trillion plastic bags are thrown away every year worldwide.
Use cloth nappies over single use nappies. The US alone uses 27.4 billion single use nappies.
Stop using disposable razors as 2 billion are chucked away.
Stop buying chewing gum as this contains synthetic rubbers. 100,000 is thrown away globally each year.
Stop using face wash lotions that contain tiny plastic beads.