Use less water so that excess runoff and wastewater don't flow into the ocean and reduce pollutants. This constant flood (the equivalent of 136 billion jugs of milk per year, estimates a study published in the journal Science) represents a serious danger to marine life. Animals can get entangled in this garbage or ingest it because they mistake it for prey or because seawater has broken down plastic into tiny particles. Plastic, of course, is especially problematic because it is not biodegradable and therefore stays much longer (up to 1000 years longer) than other forms of waste.
And we're not just talking about people who throw their trash overboard. In reality, about 80 percent of marine litter originates from land washed up the coast or washed into rivers from streets during heavy rains through storm drains and sewer overflows. Every year, nearly 20 billion plastic bottles are thrown away. Carry a reusable bottle in your bag and you'll never be caught having to resort to Poland Spring or Evian again.
If you're concerned about the quality of your local tap water, look for a model with a built-in filter. Urge your elected officials to follow the example of those in San Francisco, Chicago and nearly 150 other cities and counties by introducing or supporting laws that make the use of plastic bags less desirable. We need to take control of the 10,000 tons of plastic that enter lakes every year, whether we recycle, reuse, or simply outright ban it. Scientists say the species could be functionally extinct in as little as 20 years, but there are some solutions within reach.
It goes without saying, but when using single-use (and other) plastics that can be recycled, always be sure to recycle them. Currently, only 9% of plastic is recycled worldwide. Recycling helps keep plastics out of the ocean and reduces the amount of “new plastic” in circulation. If you need help finding a place to recycle plastic waste near you, check out the Earth911 recycling directory.
It's also important to check with your local recycling center about the types of plastic they accept. Box 844Ross, CA 94957 Expeditions %26 General Inquiries 1-800-326-7491.We can all do something to help solve the problem of plastic pollution, and millions of people around the world are already taking steps to reduce their use of plastic. These seven ideas are only superficial to finding ways in which you can help address the growing problem of plastic pollution in the oceans. We also need legislation that reduces plastic production, improves waste management and makes plastic producers responsible for the waste they generate.
Help remove plastics from the ocean and prevent them from getting there in the first place by participating in or organizing a clean-up of your local beach or waterway. A community in Oregon is making spectacular statues with ocean plastic to raise awareness about the crisis at sea. Internationally, hundreds of organizations and companies are calling on the United Nations to enact a global treaty on plastics that establishes global rules and regulations that reduce plastic pollution.