It’s summer time and a lot of us are travelling to the sea side or some other body of water for holidays, inspiration, listening of surfing the waves, watching the sun set on horizon or admiring the world under the ocean surface on our snorkeling and diving adventure. The oceans, rivers, lakes, et al. nourish us on so many levels, provide home for countless living beings, generate oxygen, regulate our climate and so much more.
Sadly at many places around the world today the ocean is spilling out large amounts of litter to the beaches. Seems that we're treating the oceans and rivers like a trash bin: around 80 percent of marine litter originates on land, and most of that is plastic. Plastic that pollutes our oceans and waterways has severe impacts on our environment. Seabirds, whales, sea turtles and other marine life are eating marine plastic pollution and dying from choking, intestinal blockage and starvation. I just read a report that plastic will soon outweigh fish in the world ocean.
I know I'm preaching to the choir here, yet, this can't be reiterated enough. We all need to do our part to stop plastic pollution or we will eventually destroy our own habitat:
1. Cut plastic out of your daily routine wherever you can:
*obviously, no plastic bags, no plastic water bottles, using your own cup for to-go (bamboo, steel, etc.) for take away coffees & drinks, buying grocery and other products without plastic packaging, etc.
2. When you really, really need to use plastic, make sure you recycle, and never, ever litter.
3. Take action, regardless how small:
*Pick up (at least) one piece of trash from the beach. *Ask producers to design packaging that it is fully recyclable, meaning less waste. *We also need producers to help cover the costs of keeping their products out of the ocean. If you're a producer yourself, see above.
4. The most important factor, we talk about least: Humans species need to stop overfishing the oceans, i.e. reduce massively or even better, stop eating fish. Plastic straws aren’the real problem. Fishing nets account for 46 percent of all ocean plastic! The single biggest single source of plastic choking out the life in our oceans is made up of purposefully or accidentally lost, discarded, or abandoned fishing nets, ropes, FADs (fish aggregating devices), long lines, and plastic fishing crates and baskets. Here 2 VERY informative, accurate and a inspiring articles on what fishing gear and leaving fish off your plates have to do with saving dolphins, sea lions, sea birds or whales: https://mercyforanimals.org/straws-arent-the-real-problem-fishing-nets
By the way, a large contributor to ocean plastic are water bottles consumed mainly in developing countries where people only drink bottled water. If we can solve the water problem in these countries by building deep water wells for example, we can make a huge impact on the plastic problem! To do exactly this you can support non-profit organisations such as Global H2O started by a dear friend of mine James Wilde. Also, support any organisation that takes care of our bodies of water: Sea shepherd, Protect the ocean and inform yourself how you can contribute to living in harmony with our bodies of water.