There is no denying that the fallout from COVID-19 has devastated the world, businesses, communities and individuals on a scale that has never been seen before. The world we all knew has changed and may never be the same again. We need to prepare for the ‘New Normal.’
During these last few months, the earth has been taking a well earned break from its harsh demands, seizing the opportunity to refresh and recover. Quarantines and border closures have resulted in a reduction in air pollution, carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses to the lowest levels recorded since World War 2. There has been a visible recovery to the Ecosystem and in some cases, there have been reports of urban wildlife returning to the cities such as foxes and deer.
Whilst the world leaders consider a change towards a sustainable energy transition into renewables such as wind power, there are still actions that we can all take to combat Ocean Pollution. Hopefully beeches will open soon and I like many others look forward to returning to them, but we must start taking further care or we risk loosing their beauty and the wildlife treasures they house for good. Ocean Pollution is not something new and it is not something that can heal itself.
Centuries and decades of neglect and ignorance now means that the fate of our seas is now firmly in our hands and we need to act now and play our part in keeping the oceans and beeches clean for future generations to come.
I support ‘Take 3 for the Sea,’ and hope that the information I have presented below will inspire you to join the thousands of people worldwide, already taking active steps to save our oceans.
There are 25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea.
Approximately 4 billion pounds of trash per year enters the ocean.
Approximately one truckload of plastic enters the ocean every single minute.
There’s enough plastic in the ocean to circle the Earth 400 times.
It’s estimated that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (by weight).
Plastics are the most common element found in the ocean today.
Plastic in particular is harmful to the environment as it does not break down easily and is often mistaken as food by marine animals.
Fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals can become entangled in or ingest plastic debris, causing suffocation, starvation, and drowning. Humans are not immune to this threat.
While plastics are estimated to take up to hundreds of years to fully decompose, some of them break down much quicker into tiny particles, which in turn end up in the seafood we eat.
While dolphins are highly intelligent and thus unlikely to eat plastic, they are susceptible to contamination through prey that has ingested synthetic compounds.
Plastic in our oceans affects creatures large and small. From seabirds, whales, and dolphins to tiny seahorses that live in coral reefs.
Plastic waste kills up to a million seabirds a year. As with sea turtles, when seabirds ingest plastic, it takes up room in their stomachs, sometimes causing starvation. Many seabirds are found dead with their stomachs full of this waste.
The 6 most common items found in coastal clean-ups around the world are all single-use plastics. They are:
Plastic beverage bottles
Plastic bottle caps
How can we help
Recognising and actively reducing our own plastic footprint is essential to solving this ever-escalating environmental problem.
As consumers, we have control over our plastic consumption and we can make a difference – effective immediately.
The most important thing we can do right now is to individually take care of our waste disposal and becoming accountable for our acts. This will not stop the problem but will prevent it from growing out of control.
The Take 3 message is simple:
Pick up 3 pieces of rubbish when you leave the beach, a national park, your favorite coastal walk, local bike ride – anywhere – and dispose of it responsibly. Do that, and you’ve made a difference.
Picking up other people’s rubbish may not be a natural instinct, but supporters find that they pick up many more than 3 items once they get started.
My own take on this and a one that involves the whole family is – As well as taking 3 for the sea (as a minimum, if we see it, we bag it), before I start relaxing and enjoying the beach, I take five minutes to check and clean up the area around me that me and my family are going to be sitting / lying in for the day.
It is surprising the number of hidden dangers and plastic waste (waiting to be swept out with the tide) that are hidden just below the surface of the sand. It is good to start your day knowing that your children are not going to stand on shards of glass or receive infected cuts from tin cans etc.
This is not for one summer…..this needs to be a new mindset.
Involve your children. They will love it and pass it on to future generations.
Education is the key – Please share the message.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
One Love – One World.