One way in which we can help reverse some of the damage done to our environment is through reducing our single-use plastic consumption.
Approximately 8 million pieces of plastic make their way into the ocean every day, which means that there many now be around 5.25 trillion micro and macro pieces of plastic floating in our oceans. What makes plastic so dangerous is its inability to fully decompose. Plastic will never completely biodegrade, and instead will just be broken down into smaller and smaller pieces – or micro-plastics. These, as well as larger macro-plastics make their way into the watercourse, and end up in our rivers, canals and oceans. With over two thirds of the planet covered by ocean, home to hundreds of thousands of species, these plastics pose a threat to those which inhabit these waters. With 12 million tonnes of plastic making its way into our oceans every year, equivalent to a full rubbish truck load every minute, this plastic pollution is doing its damage in a number of different ways.
Large pieces of plastic are mistaken as food by marine wildlife such as seals, turtles, dolphin and marine birds, which ingest the plastic that then forms a choking hazard, and has catastrophic consequences on the lives of these animals. Larger pieces of plastic such as plastic bottle rings trap many marine animals, which can cause them to drown as they cannot get to the surface for air, or will entangle baby turtles causing their shells to become deformed.
Micro-plastics are also ingested by marine wildlife, which as they are smaller, make their way through the animal’s digestive system, with adverse effects on their health, and their lives. The plastic also poses further reproductive threats to marine wildlife. Plastics contain chemicals that disrupt the hormones and the reproductive ability of marine wildlife.
Images of dead sea-birds with their stomachs filled with plastic populate the internet, and whilst these plastics pose a great threat to all inhabitants of the oceans, they are also going full-circle and making their way back onto our plates. These invisible plastics are being ingested by the people who wasted them, and with a lack of research on the effects of micro-plastics on human health we do not know to what extent this will damage our bodies.
Therefore an effective way of reducing your single-use plastic consumption is by using a reusable bag. All of our bags can be reused over 5000 times, and most are 100% biodegradable. One tote bag will save over 5,000 plastic bags, which if implemented by even a small amount of people would have a dramatic effect on the amount of plastic making its way into our oceans.
 Surfers Against Sewage
 Green Peace