As well as following the detrimental effects of marine litter and enjoying amazing pictures along the way, I’m learning. Learning that whilst plastic isn’t all evil, we need to start figuring out more responsible ways of using it and getting rid of it at the end of its life. So with that in mind here are five things which I didn’t know that are worth thinking about.
1. The more colour in a plastic container, the harder it is to recycle, if you’re going to buy something in a plastic container go clear. We’ll be doing more on this, it’s very complex what can and can’t be recycled, and you’ll be surprised how many products we put into a recycling bin that actually cannot be recycled.
2. The amount of plastic that enters the sea around the UK each year from cosmetics alone is roughly five times more than we remove from our beaches through beach cleans. Think about that for a minute. We’ll do a full feature on this as well, pretty shocking though.
3. About 8% of all oil production makes plastic, of that plastic around 40% of that is designed to be single use. One of the big problems with plastic is we place so little value on it because of this, it’s seen as a one use throwaway item, it’s an attitude that has to change. The solution to the whole marine littering problem is three fold, corporate responsibility, legislation at government and personal responsibility, only combining these three will things change.
4. It’s now estimated that 80% of top end marine predators have plastic and other marine debris in their system. Whilst this may not be terminal, some of that is digested, the substances get deposited in flesh/fat and we eat it. Think Sea Bass, Mackerel, Tuna, Cod, sure an individual fish isn’t going to affect you but eat it regularly and the problems build up.
5. It’s an incredibly depressing picture, fortunately, there are thousands of people doing different things around the planet to do something about it. But as I have said before it’s a massive joint action required. I believe with the people I am working with that what we can achieve by reaching people through beach cleans, SAS and projects like this we can make a mass change.
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