As consumers, we all know plastics are everywhere. We've produced more plastic in the last ten years than in the whole of the 20th century, and we use 50% of the plastics we use only once. From the Arctic, where the majority of UK plastics end up, to the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s everywhere. In fact, it circles the earth in ways you wouldn’t expect due to ocean currents and seasonal changes. Today, we're looking at five ways to tackle Ocean Plastics.
“At least 8 millions tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each year... Without action, the ocean is expected to contain more plastics than fish by 2050.”
~ Ellen Macarthur Foundation
Related read: Things made with ocean plastics.
Recycle plastic bottles, ask for non-plastic straws in restaurants, and at home choose eco-friendly straws instead of plastic alternatives. Use non-plastic cutlery and choose reusable cups, not disposables. There are tonnes of reusable cups on the market, such as Enviro-Cups, for events.
Collect rubbish in your local area. It could help prevent the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals. If you live near a beach, join Surfers Against Plastics for clean-ups for a great and purpose-filled day out.
Inspirational Lizzie Carr paddle boarded 400 miles around England’s waterways and became the first female to paddle board solo across the English channel! Go Lizzie!
Support businesses that use recyclable products. You can even get the Edible Six Pack Ring from Saltwater Brewery, which is 100% biodegradable, within 2-3 months of being in the ocean! Even brands like Adidas are changing their habits with the UltraBOOST Uncaged Adidas x Parley shoes, so you don’t have to sacrifice style to look after the planet. H&M’s new Conscious Exclusive collection features BIONIC - a brand-new material created from recycled polyester from plastic collected on beaches and shorelines.
There are so many more alternative brands out there, too, for every need. For example, Claire Rendell’s beautiful furniture proves you can combine stunning design with a sustainable conscience (check out our brand list of eco-friendly furniture). By supporting brands that are making huge changes in their production methods, we can build momentum and a demand for a more sustainable, more environmentally friendly future.
We’re in this together, and we can all make a difference. Share Ocean Generation’s #MyOceans, especially with young people and teenagers. To make a big difference, there are many travel opportunities to see the impact of plastics first-hand. For example, Flooglebinders runs educational trips for schools. Alternatively, supporting trips for young people can help encourage the next generation of change-makers. Charities like One More Generation rely on your donations to keep making a difference.
We hope you're inspired to take action through these easy and actionable five ways to tackle ocean plastics!