The health of the ocean is intrinsically linked to the health of our planet. Not only does the ocean give us oxygen to breathe but it provides food for billions of people and plays a vital role in the fight against climate change.
As climate change accelerates and commercial fishing increases, we are already seeing a massive decline in marine wildlife. However, plastic pollution is becoming more prevalent which is furthering the stress on ocean life. It is estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean each year!
Plastic is deadly for marine species. The most visible impacts of plastic pollution are suffocation, ingestion and entanglement. Over 100 million marine mammals alone die of entanglement each year. While other animals mistake it for food and die from starvation as their stomach fills up with plastic debris.
A survey undertaken by OPCFHK showed that the prolonged pandemic has increased the use of single-use plastics such as straws and cutlery, despite a steady decline in previous years. From the survey, it is suggested that convenience seems to be the main barrier for using less plastic but something as simple as refusing a plastic straw or bringing reusable cutlery out with you can have a massive impact.
The thing about plastic is that is never truly goes away, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics. Every single piece of plastic that has ever been produced still exists in some form, even your very first toothbrush!
Next time you’re along the coast, try and pick up #3forthesea, 3 things that would otherwise end up in the ocean. Also be mindful of what you need when you’re out. Bringing reusables with you such as a keep cup, cutlery, reusable bottle and a tote bag can help you drastically reduce your plastic footprint. There are many easy, simple switches you can make at home too such as shampoo and conditioner bars over bottles and choosing loose fruit and vegetables over packaged.
Plastic is everywhere and it can be hard to cut down but take it one step at a time. Big change doesn’t happen overnight.
EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS
We need your help to sustain our efforts to conserve wildlife. Join us as our member of the Friends of the Foundation (download application form) to help us fund more conservation projects and save more species. Together we make a difference!