Our marine environments are accumulating more plastic than ever before – in fact, between 4 and 12 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year. Marine plastic pollution has impacted at least 267 species worldwide. That’s including 86-percent of all sea turtle species. As well as 44-percent of all seabird species and 43-percent of all marine mammal species. So marine mammals and seabirds are being injured and killed by plastic pollution. That’s again as a result of ingestion, starvation, suffocation, infection, drowning, and entanglement.
The news is devastating, but change is within our reach.
By eliminating plastic products that you typically use once and then toss away. Furthermore and replacing them with reusable items is the trick. Then you can help reduce the amount of plastic that ultimately ends up in our oceans. Therefore, the simplest way is to refuse any single-use plastics that you do not need. That’s such as:
straws, plastic bags, take-out utensils, and containers, and buy (and carry with you) reusable grocery bags, produce bags, bottles, utensils, coffee cups and more.
Other ways to contribute to the cause is to
- Participating in (or organizing) beach or river cleanups;
2. Supporting legislation that reduces plastic waste;
- Avoiding products containing microbeads
Encouraging businesses, you frequent to seek alternatives to single-use plastic;
Recycling properly (learn what your local recycling plant is able to accept);
Spreading the word;
Supporting organizations working to reduce and eliminate plastic pollution.
Ocean resources need to be protected for future generations, and there are many ways in which we can pivot our behaviorsto lessen the devastation on the ecosystem and help reverse climate change.
So if you have any questions on ways in which you can fight plastic, visit Oceanic Society’s Blue Habit’s plastic guide:
Roderic Mast is Oceanic Society’s President and CEO. He is a lifelong conservationist, a marine biologist, and an experienced travel guide who got his start as a naturalist in the Galápagos Islands. Rod is an expert in sea turtles, and is the both the co-chair of the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group and the founder of the State of the World’s Sea Turtles Program, which is managed by Oceanic Society. Rod is also a passionate photographer, author, and public speaker.