Posted By:The iYFA Team

Post Date:November 10, 2018

Why is plastic killing our oceans?

Plastic being dumped in our oceans is a danger to humans and animals, but you can do your bit to help.

It’s the hot topic in the world right now. Everyone is talking about it. ‘Single-use’ has just been named Word Of The Year for 2018. It’s plastic, from items we use every day, collecting up in the world’s oceans, gradually destroying them. This phenomenon came into the wider public’s consciousness last year, after the hit Blue Planet 2 documentary series. Millions of people tuned in to see how plastic was affecting the oceans and its inhabitants. A hawksbill turtle getting entangled in a plastic sack was especially shocking. This was far from an isolated incident. In fact, the crew that filmed Blue Planet 2 said there was never a day when they didn’t come across some form of plastic in the ocean. It’s a horrific and depressing situation, entirely caused by us, human beings. However, it’s never too late to change. We can all play a part in reducing plastic pollution and help clean up our oceans and our world.

The facts

The numbers surrounding plastic pollution are staggering. Here are some of them:

  • • Humans dump 8 million tonnes of plastic into the sea every year. That’s the equivalent of a garbage truck’s capacity, every minute.
  • • 5% of all plastics manufactured end up in the sea.
  • • By 2050 it’s predicted there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish (in terms of weight).

 

How does plastic get into the ocean?

Plastic ends up in the oceans due to a number of factors. Firstly, people leave litter on the world’s beaches when they go to swim and sunbathe. Tides take it out into the sea where it floats forever. Another, less obvious cause is microplastics. These are microscopic pieces of plastic that are used to make everyday products, such as the rough, exfoliating particles in face cream. These pieces of plastic are so small that they get into the water supply when they are washed down the sink. The leading cause, however, is industrial dumping. Many countries and companies, especially in the Far East and South-East Asia where there are not such strong regulations, simply dump their industrial waste into the nearest river, sea or ocean. A study by Ocean Conservancy found that China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand & Vietnam are the main offenders, depositing more plastic into oceans than the rest of the world combined. Once the plastic is in the ocean, it is swept away by currents. Currents cause plastic to collect together in vast islands of pollution. The ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ in the North Pacific Ocean measures 1.6 million square kilometres.

How does plastic affect marine life?

This build-up of plastic pollution has dire consequences for ocean wildlife.

 

  • • Animals can get trapped in plastic, becoming unable to free themselves.
  • • Marine life may eat the plastic which gets trapped inside their stomachs, making them sick. For example, turtles have been known to mistake plastic carrier bags for jellyfish and eat them.

There is also a threat to humans, as we eat fish that has consumed plastic and drink water that contains microplastics.

What can we do?

We can all do our bit to help stop plastic pollution in the ocean. Simple everyday changes of habit can make a big difference. Here are some things you can try:

  • • Make sure you put your waste plastic in a trash can with a lid, so it is secure.
  • • Drink tap water in a reusable bottle, instead of buying bottled water.
  • • When you’re at the beach or riverside, remove any plastic you see littered around.
  • • Buy your fruit and veg loose, rather than in plastic packaging.
  • • Contact companies that use plastic in their products and ask them to reduce their reliance on plastic. You could even urge them to use ocean-friendly, plastic-free materials.

 

Join the movement At iYFA, we are spearheading the campaign against plastic pollution in our oceans. The advertising channels we offer our clients, whether it’s our compostable bags, PLA cups with Lids, PLA straws, ecoMEDIAboxes or anything else, are all plastic-free, biodegradable and compostable. Starting this November, we’re taking the campaign to another level. On any mission, you have to start somewhere, but we’re aiming high. We’re trying to eliminate plastic from the Wembley. The town, the arena, even the stadium! Like I said, we’re aiming high. To stay in touch with everything we do at iYFA, subscribe to our mailing list and make sure you follow the hashtag #PlasticFreeWembley.

 

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