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Throughout our world’s oceans lurks a silent killer. The killer is plastic and it’s on a beach or floating in an ocean near you.
More than 268,940 tonnes of litter is estimated to be floating in the Earth’s oceans – that’s the incredible weight of over 1,300 Blue Whales! 80% of this plastic on our coast and in our waters, is being generated from land. Litter is often lost or blown from inland, comes through stormwater drains or thoughtlessly dropped.

 Once plastic is in the ocean, marine animals are suffering from either becoming tangled up or eating it leading to suffocation and starvation. Plastic has a long legacy too, breaking down into smaller and smaller unidentifiable pieces and lasting thousands of years.

Already, incredible amounts of easily recyclable plastic bottles are instead washing out of stormwater drains, there is more plastic waste than plankton in the Pacific Ocean, and it’s estimated there will be more plastic than fish in the world by 2050.

Plastic bags and micro-plastics are mistaken for jellyfish and fish eggs which are not a tasty diet for the animals that eat them. The UN writes, “As many as 51 trillion microplastic particles – 500 times more than stars in our galaxy – litter our seas, seriously threatening marine wildlife.”

Together, we can turn the tide on plastic pollution – there’s so many small behavioural changes that can make a huge difference for our oceans and the amazing life that calls them home.

 

10 Ways we can minimise use of Plastic:

  1. Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
  2. Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other "disposable" plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq's, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
  3. Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
  4. Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them, which is a great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
  5. Go digital! No need for plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
  6. Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
  7. Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
  8. Volunteer at a beach cleanup.
  9. Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
  10. Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to reduce plastic in our lives and the nasty impacts of plastic pollution.

 

UMAR|WSR and its employees are committed and dedicated to protecting the environment and to the prevention of pollution. In line with this strong commitment, UMAR|WSR has established and is implementing an Environmental Management System throughout the organization.