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Plastic can seem inescapable. From food and hygiene packaging to electronics, bags, cups, water bottles and more, this material is used for virtually everything. Worst of all, this plastic is often used for a matter of minutes before it is tossed into the trash. Every year, we produce around 300 million tons of plastic and 8.8 million tons of that gets dumped into the oceans every year. The problem with this is plastic never really disappears, but rather photodegrades into smaller and smaller pieces – making it a persistent threat to marine life. Currently, almost 700 marine species are threatened with extinction because of this material.

It’s estimated that around 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. Images of seals with their heads stuck in plastic rings or entangled in bags have become incredibly common. A study conducted in the 1980s showed that 40,000 seals were killed by plastic entanglement a year and that number has only continued to grow with an increase in our plastic usage. It is predicted that by the year 2050, all seabirds will have ingested plastic. A study done last year showed that each of the 18 species in the Great Lakes that they tested, all had some plastic contamination.  Going up the food chain, in 2013, the Environmental Investigation Agency found that 70 percent of dolphins stranded on beaches had ingested plastic debris. And even large Baleen whales that filter huge amounts of seawater are susceptible to storing high amounts of pollutants from marine debris, including plastic.

Plastic may start in our stores and homes, but its reach extends far beyond our own. This image was taken by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), an environmental charity in the UK that works to protect and clean the beaches and waters of the UK.

This photo was taken after a clean-up on the remote Chagos Island, 300 miles south of the Maldives, where they found 175 plastic water bottles from 10 different countries.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 2.31.16 PM

 

What You Can Do

The fact that trash from 10 different countries can all be found washed up on a remote group of islands like the Chagos is indicative of our global plastic problem. The good news is just as we contribute to this problem, we can help to end it with our daily actions. While efforts are being made to remove debris from the oceans, improve recycling systems, and innovate barriers to prevent plastic from getting into waterways, we can all take action in our daily lives to stop plastic waste at the source.

“Plastic is ubiquitous in modern society and seemingly unavoidable. But is it worth risking the lives of marine species, the health of the oceans and our own future in the name of convenience? By taking steps to minimize everyday plastics in our lives, we can crush plastic at the source and give marine life a fighting chance,” said Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of One Green Planet.

If we all make an effort to identify where we use plastic and actively look for alternatives, we can drastically cut down on the amount of plastic pollution that finds its way into the oceans.

As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, One Green Planet believes that reducing everyday plastics from our lives is not about giving up anything or sacrificing convenience, but rather learning to reap the maximum benefit from the items you use every day while having the minimum impact.

Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.

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 Image source: Surfers Against Sewage/Instagram

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14 comments on “What Trash Washed Up on Remote Island 300 Miles From Maldives Tell Us About Our Plastic Habit”

Click to add comment
Michael Hussey
1 Years Ago

People think if they recycle then it's ok to purchase bottled water. In the USA we have no reason to purchase. Use filters on your water if you have city water and purchase glass or stainless steel containers to carry your water. We must stop using so much plastic.


Reply
Helene Reilly
1 Years Ago

Looks like bloody Nestle bottles this is awful we have to stop people from buying bottled water, I have to bit my tongue when I see people with cases of it in there shopping cart I want to scream it's full of germs, get a bloody water filter and a reusable water bottle, use your tap water your paying for it and it's tested frequently, think about the landfills, lakes, oceans.


Reply
Sacha Campbell
1 Years Ago

You should see the rubbish that washes up in East Arnhem Land, Australia! So remote and beautiful, but the current pulls the rubbish in from Indonesia....and from all the boats that dump at sea. It's horrible.


Reply
Sacha Campbell
04 May 2016

Sacha Campbell
04 May 2016

Sacha Campbell
04 May 2016

Sacha Campbell
04 May 2016

Sacha Campbell
04 May 2016

Sacha Campbell
04 May 2016

We removed 530kg rubbish from a 2km stretch of beach (not including nets). Crazy.

Matt Watts
1 Years Ago

Paul Hellier


Reply
Marina Chiabai
1 Years Ago

Brett Colpitts


Reply
Sabrina Chris Conte
1 Years Ago

we recycled them as goos as possible in our garden..for plants ecct.


Reply
Alex P Keaton
1 Years Ago

That we should be taxing corporations who use tons of plastic that goes towards a cleanup fund.


Reply
Jane Leczynski Rosinski
1 Years Ago

We must stop using plastic bottles immediately!


Reply


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