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January 26th, 2018
The Global Plastic Problem Requires All of Us to Change

Forget a safe, clean world with green landscapes and beautiful blue beaches.

Climate change is a reality and its effects are blindingly obvious – 3,496 natural disasters caused by droughts, heat waves, floods and storms wreaked havoc on our planet in the first decade of the 21st century, devastating communities and killing thousands of people.

These tragic multiple episodes are the consequence of our collective desire to ignore the effects of C02 emissions, industrial and agricultural runoff and the over production of plastic.

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, floods in South Asia, drought in East Africa and heat waves in India and Pakistan beg for climate action. What should we do? Protect and clean our oceans.

Oceans are the prime regulator of climate change.  They absorb 90% of the planet’s heat and 30% of the earth’s carbon dioxide. In addition, they provide 50% of the oxygen we need. We get so many benefits from the oceans, which are vital for our survival. However, what do we give them in return? Plastic!

Experts predict that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. On average every year 9 million tonnes of plastic leak into the sea, polluting our oceans and killing sea birds, fish and marine life that get tangled up in the litter or ingest it.

This is a global issue that demands global action. The plastic problem is not a single country or a single continent’s responsibility.  Everyone is responsible for this environment disaster and each of us has to be part of the solution.

Non-biodegradable plastic sticks around in the oceans for more than 1,000 years. How do we avoid swimming in garbage in 2050? We come together and act together.

Individual action really makes a difference. Are you buying food wrapped in plastic? Are you using plastic bags? Are you throwing plastic away? Are you recycling plastic?

There are many daily habits that would have a big impact on pollution levels and marine life if we all made a change. Here are four quick and easy actions that you could immediately adopt:

  1. Stop using disposable single-use plastics. How often do you use plastic wrap, disposable cutlery, straws and coffee-cup lids? Every single day? It is time to replace them with reusable items.
  2. Pick up your dry cleaning without the plastic covering
  3. Become an advocate for the worldwide elimination of single-use plastic. Tell your family and friends about the benefits of changing their daily shopping habits to help create a cleaner environment.
  4. Recycle. Obviously!

Plastic pollution is a crisis made by humans – and only we can change its course.

Ocean Networks

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