How does plastic reach the ocean?
It's likely that in some way or another your plastic has ended up in the ocean. Not all the plastic you've used but some, or most, of it. How? You've put your rubbish in the bins, you live miles from the ocean, surely it wouldn't end up in the ocean?
Sometimes when you throw it in the bin - it might be the wrong bin. Bins are not easy and some things can be recycled in one area but not another.
When it ends up in a landfill it can be blown away due to plastic being so lightweight. Similarly to any littering that may happen. Plastic blows away and rain water may carry it away. Often the plastic ends up in drains/streams/rivers and there's only one place they all lead to. You've guessed it: THE OCEAN.
On top of that - Microfibers are released into waterways when we wash our clothes and they end up in our food chain as they get eaten by the marine species. There has been a movement to ban microbeads in cosmetic and cleaning products. This should help to prevent plastic beads being washed into our oceans but these are not the only products that cause the problem
Why is ocean plastic an issue?
Our oceans are important as they provide food for billions and income for millions of people. It is home to wildlife, beautiful wildlife. The ocean and it's wildlife produces about half of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs half of the carbon dioxide we create. Yes, what we create through man-made pollution.
Yet, ocean plastic is inhibiting the ocean from doing this as it kills and harms marine life, from fish, to whales and coral reefs.
Surely there needs to be lots of plastic for the ocean to be harmed as it's such a big place? See, that's the thing:
EIGHT MILLION TONNES OF PLASTIC ENDS UP IN OUR OCEAN EVERY YEAR.
To help put that in perspective: Seven Million coffee cups are thrown away every day in the UK ALONE. Less than 1% of those can be recycled.
It's such a small part of our everyday life but look how much that contributes just from the UK alone into our oceans. When I saw that fact it made me realise just how little we do can make such big impacts on our world.
An article by Imperial College London highlights a study that estimates ocean plastic will triple by 2040. Now that is the opposite of what we want.What can we do to help?
Use reusable containers for drinks/foods - for you and your pets.
Choose products that do not contain plastic beads.
Use compostable alternatives where possible.
Look for biodegradable alternatives (even in little things like teabags!)
Look for companies supporting sustainable products
Help organisations trying to reduce the plastic that ends up in the ocean.
Reuse the plastic heading to the ocean or support companies who do.
There is so much to consider, each individual and company needs to do their part for us to help save our ocean and support our planet. Everything you do can assist your world today. Start with small changes because every difference you can make: it counts.
Be a part of our mission: helping you find companies that support your world. From durable products to recycled or natural products. You can help the environment, even with your pets' products. Every day is a learning curve, not everything is perfect but every change and movement can be a step in the right direction. Start your movement today and shop with us.
A selection of brands we stock and what they're doing to help:- Project Blu reuses plastic bottles heading to the ocean.
- Geopetric uses recycled plastic bottles
- Eco-Pup products are 100% eco-friendly by using certified organic, reclaimed, upcycled, natural and recycled fabrics
- Boodles Dog Treats uses eco-friendly packaging that's recyclable and sustainably sourced (any plastic used is reused from consumer waste)
- Ecohound provide 100% biodegradable poo-bags
- Bamboo Groom gives you great plastic alternative brushes (bamboo!)
- Smug Mutts gives you fabulous natural toys with no plastic used.
- Green & Wilds toys are made from Jute and recycled cotton/plastic and their natural chews are great alternative to similar products made with plastic
- All our packaging we use is recyclable/compostable/recycled and plastic free.
- We reuse any plastic sent to us (which is pretty much none) to extend it's life.
Where we got our info / further reading for you: