Most of us don’t think twice before throwing away a piece of plastic – be it a plastic fork, a plastic grocery bag, plastic packaging, and much, much more. After it’s been tossed in the garbage bin, it’s easy to forget about it. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, of mind.”
Sadly, many creatures, particularly marine animals, do not have the luxury to ignore the massive 300 million tons of plastic materials we generate every year. Especially when 8.8 million tons of it is getting dumped directly into their home. Despite efforts to curb damage by recycling, 85 percent of the world’s plastic is not recycled. That means that 85 percent of the world’s plastic is sent to landfills, and, more likely than not, the ocean. This puts around 700 marine species in danger of extinction due to the threat plastic poses to them from entanglement, pollution, and ingestion.
In this shocking video, Sea Shepherd activists fill a public pool with plastic waste to illustrate what our actions are doing to the homes of marine animals. People approach the pool tentatively, shocked at the waste that fills it from wall to wall. Sea Shepherd Global CEO, Captain Alex Cornelissen said, ’“Faced with the option of swimming in a pool full of plastic pollution, most people would choose not to enter the water. However, this is not an option extended to the many marine creatures who are forced to live in this kind of pollution everyday.”
We must own up to the fact that we’re put marine animals in this deadly situation. And then, we’ve got to fight for them.
How Can You Help?
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,” says 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.