Written by Wave
Plastic pollution is a global problem, and with around 8 million tonnes of plastic being dumped in our oceans every single year, the problem isn’t going to go away unless we all make changes to our lifestyles.
But there is good news: we can all help reduce the plastic pollution, and ultimately, help save the precious lives of the marine life that live there.
Read on to find out how you can help.
Plastic Pollution and the Effects on Marine Life and BDMLR
Currently, around 80% of marine debris is made up of plastics, all of which either sink to the ocean floor, float or become washed up on our beaches, causing great harm to the marine life that live within these areas.
Stories of dolphins becoming tangled in fishing nets and sea birds having stomachs full of pieces of plastic are becoming more and more prevalent, highlighting the damaging effects plastic pollution is causing.
The charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue has been helping to save marine animals since 1988. To begin with, the rescue missions were in response to more natural disasters, including shipwrecks and virus outbreaks. However, fast forward to 2021, and the team are now receiving regular reports of animals being entangled around the British coastline.
This rapid rise of plastic pollution is contributing to the deaths of many marine species and it is also putting added pressure on the resources and teams we have, like the BDMLR, who are there to protect and preserve our oceans and the wildlife.
How Can You Help?
The types of plastics found in the ocean make up a range of everyday items that we all use.
Single-use plastics, like straws, bags and bottle caps are rife within our oceans, and if we all make simple swaps, it will help reduce the waste that ends up in the sea.
Here are a few swaps you can make to help clean up our oceans.
Reusable Water Bottles
Switching from a single-use plastic bottle to a reusable one means there will be less floating around the sea. At Wave, we stock a stylish, stainless steel water bottle that will make for the perfect eco-friendly swap.
Investing in a reusable shopping bag, like a canvas tote or a hemp shopper, is a great solution to single use carrier bags. Not only will you save money each time you shop, but they’re also stronger and won’t end up being ingested by a whale or tangled around a turtle!
Bamboo Cotton Buds
Around 10% of plastic cotton buds are flushed down toilets, ending up in our sewers and oceans. Instead, opt for bamboo versions which are biodegradable and can be thrown into a compost bin rather than the sea!
Over 1 billion wet wipes are used every day in the UK, and they are one of the most common products used daily that are causing widespread problems. The best alternatives to use are biodegradable wipes that can be disposed of in a compost bin or reusable cotton pads that can be reused time and time again.
As well as making these simple swaps, there are other ways to help save our oceans, too.
Beach Clean Up
A little bit of DIY never hurt anybody, and getting together with friends and family to organise a beach clean up is a fantastic way to see immediate results. Grab a bag, a litter picker and head down to your local beach to rid the environment of nasty plastics. It’s a great way to really feel like you’re doing your bit for marine life.
‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ is the motto to live by. Make sure to recycle what you can to reduce any unnecessary waste ending up where it shouldn’t!
Although we’re living in a plastic crisis right now, if we all began to make small changes and contributed to cleaning up our oceans, we could fix what’s gone wrong and save the animals that live within our seas.