Garbage is everywhere and plastic waste is particularly problematic.
In fact, there is so much plastic waste from single use plastics that even land fails to contain it, resulting in it being deposited into our oceans.
Reducing plastic waste is crucial
Currently, it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world.
Marine wildlife such as seabirds, whales, fishes and turtles, mistake plastic waste for prey, and most die of starvation as their stomachs are filled with plastic debris.
They also suffer from lacerations, infections, reduced ability to swim, and internal injuries.
Floating plastics also contribute to the spread of invasive marine organisms and bacteria, which disrupt ecosystems. Over 1 million marine animals (including mammals, fish, sharks, turtles, and birds) are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean.
This is not only detrimental to the animals in the sea but also to the humans who feed on them.
Chemicals in plastics enter the body of the animal feeding on the plastic. The chemicals then make their way up the food chain to humans.
What can you do to reduce your waste?
- Use a reusable “keep” cup when you get take away coffee
- Always take your own reusable bags when shopping
- Use reusable vegie bags when buying fruit and veg
- Consider buying secondhand furniture and recycled clothing
- Donate your unwanted clothing or other items or have a garage sale instead of throwing things out – your junk may be someone else treasure!
- Try to repair items rather than replacing them
- Find out if your local take away will let you bring in a reusable container rather than having a single use plastic or cardboard one.
- As consumers we can demand that supermarkets and stores supply goods without unnecessary packaging.
- Pick up rubbish at your local beach
To markedly reduce the amount of waste we produce takes planning, effort and persistence.
Changing our consumption patterns and reducing our waste has never been more important.