We’ve all been walking along a beach or river one day and seen bits of plastic, big, small, and in all sorts of colours, lying in the sand or pebbles. Sadly, the amount of plastic in our oceans is only going to increase unless we do something about it. FACT: Experts believe that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans, by weight. This is shocking, but sadly true. Every minute, the equivalent of a whole truck full of rubbish enters the ocean. Most of this plastic comes from countries living in poverty, who do not have waste collection services. We can’t just blame those countries though, as every country is responsible. Plastic takes 1000 years to decompose, but it never really disappears. Instead it just turns into microplastics, which will remain in our oceans forever. But how does plastic end up in the oceans? Here in the U.K, littering and using the wrong bins are the main reasons that plastic ends up in the ocean. Every time you throw away something that could be recycled, the plastic goes to landfill and can easily be blown away onto the streets again. The plastic blown from landfill, alongside littering, can be taken by the wind and rainwater and are then carried into our drains; they can eventually end up in our oceans.
But how can we help reduce the amount of plastics going into the oceans? Reducing our reliance on single use plastics, such as straws, plastic bags and bottles and takeaway containers can have a huge positive impact on the environment. Luckily, there are lots of alternatives that we can use in our everyday lives that can help save our oceans. These items include things such as reusable straws, bags-for-life’s, and reusable bottles. Using these items, though they may seem expensive, will save you money and the environment. If everyone started using reusable water bottles, the 20,000 plastic bottles produced every second will decrease, leading to less plastics going into our oceans every day. Our actions now can have huge impacts on our future. We need to act now before it’s too late.