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15 Ways How to Prevent Plastics in the Ocean

by Ranisa Alda

It is reported by the UNEP on 2005 about marine litter that plastics dominate the marine debris. But even without a written report, we could tell that from all of the debris, plastics surely dominates by how easy it is for our eyes to spot plastics both on the beach and even in the water of the ocean.

According to a report cited by the ABC News, the international study calculated that a total of 275 million tons of plastic waste is produced by 192 nations with China being the biggest contributor, followed by Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

The news site also cited words from Dr. Chris Wilcox of CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, who stated that between 2017 and 2028, the amount of plastic that will be produced by the world will be as much as the world has been producing up until now.

Dr. Wilcox explained some of the effects of plastics pollution in the ocean to the animals. First is how animals can get wrapped up in plastic bags, balloons, and straps. The second one is how the animals eats the plastics in the ocean. From his research, Dr. Wilcox estimated about 90% of the seabirds has been doing it. The impact of plastic-eating animals is that it can cause toxic chemicals like phthalates for an example. Phthalates is a plasticiser that can effect the hormone system and can leach into the animal such as their fat.

If this does not get taken care of, it can lead to the destruction of ocean habitat and it is awful. The worse−and selfish−impact of this is it can get into human’s system as well. Take plastic-eating fish for example, if the fish were to be caught, cooked, and consumed by the human, then the plastics that had been inside the system of the fish would transfer to the human’s system and may cause harms to the human’s body. There are still a lot of other causes of plastic pollution in the ocean.

Now that we get the grand idea of how plastics in the ocean is not at all a good thing, we can move on and learn about ways to prevent plastics in the ocean.

  1. Stop or Reduce the Usage of Single-Use Plastics

This tip can be applied to many different kinds of thing or occasion. Such as,

  • Say no to plastic bottles and bring your own tumbler or reusable water bottle
  • No more plastic cutleries. Nowadays, you can easily find stainless steel cutleries that are travel friendly so you can bring and use it anywhere you go.
  • Try your best to bring your own food container when you want to do take outs from restaurants. Also, don’t accept the plastic bags that comes along with your food, use your own reusable bag instead.
  • Use matches instead of lighters. Lighters are made from plastics so yes, avoid it as much as you can.
  • Switch your synthetic sponge to a cotton washcloth or other things that can help you wash your dishes but are not made from plastics.

There are a lot more of other ways to prevent plastics in the ocean. Above are just few and easy examples on how you can actually do it.

  1. Return Reusable Containers

There are a lot of products that uses bottles or containers that are actually reusable. What’s even better is there are stores or companies who actually accept the emptied-containers of their products so they can use it again for future production. Read more about Characteristics of the Sunlit Zone in the Ocean

If we, customers, give big responds to this program by the companies, then a lot of other companies will start to do so and hopefully, it can be a common thing in the future! You usually can even get bonus or points from the companies if you return their containers so why not join in?

  1. Avoid Microbeads

The microbeads can be found easily from detergent products to toothpaste to beauty products. However, a lot of people is still unaware that the microbeads actually don’t have any good impact especially to our body. It can get stuck in your eye and scratch your cornea if you close your eyes or stuck on your gum, make you lost some of it, also make your teeth both sensitive and hurt whenever you drink something acidic. So if it doesn’t even give any benefit to your body, then why bother use it and destroy our ocean for nothing?

  1. Avoid Glitter

Not only microbeads, but it turns out that other plastic micro-products, in this case is glitter, can also be harmful for our ocean. From a research, it is found that glitter contributes to the 800 tons of plastic that somehow get their way into the ocean every year. read more about Use of Ocean wave Energy

  1. Avoid Excessive Food Packaging

Avoid over-packaging of your food as it is unnecessary. You can bring your own food container to take away, you can put your leftover foods in the food containers instead of putting it in the plastic bags. You can easily find something else that is more environmentally friendly to package your food.

  1. Refill

Buy products with glass or non-plastic and reusable containers so you can refill the products yourself (if the company doesn’t accept the used containers). Read more about Causes of Ocean Tides Rise and Fall

  1. Recycle

One of the three common things you will often hear when it comes about environment. But even if it is common, it does make a huge impact. Therefore, don’t be lazy and recycle the products that are able to be recycled. Or if you find it too much work, you can always try to find then donate them to waste banks. You can even sometimes earn money in return from it. Read more about Effects of Wind on Ocean Currents

  1. Reuse

Another common suggestion but again, makes a huge impact. You can drop the plastic products and use reusable ones such as reusable shopping bag. Not only it is environmentally friendly, but it also have much more strength and more strength equals you can buy more!

  1. Separate the Trash by Their Type

This way, it will be easier for those who wants to recycle because the trash doesn’t get tangled up with one another. Read more about Hydrodynamic Characteristics of Ocean

  1. Try To Grow Your Own Food

Beside avoiding excessive use of plastics, this way you can also save money, and reduce your contribution to the pollution from the vehicle that was used to transport your food from its producer. Double environmentally-friendly acts!

  1. Shop Local

If growing your own food is too much or you want some meat, shop at your local market. They usually sell fresh food supplies and therefore, use less plastic. Read more about Causes of Oil Pollution in the Ocean

  1. Participate in a Beach or River Cleanup

By participating in this event, you are not only doing something for the cleanliness of the ocean but also raising the awareness to the others who are not yet aware of our ocean’s condition.

  1. Support Bans

Your support for the bans over plastic usage or plastic related that causes harms to our ocean is certainly matters and will do wonder!

  1. Support Recycle Actions and Products

As mentioned above, if recycling it by yourself is too much of a work, support the recycle actions such as the waste banks. Read more about Ways to Solve Water Pollution

  1. Tell Others

These ways to prevent plastics in the ocean may seem so little and will contribute nothing. But, it actually really matters and if we do it together, it will have a greater impact. These ways are basically simple, so if you would just put a little bit of your will in it, you are good to go! And also, because it is simple, you can raise the awareness to the others by showing how easy it is for us to start doing something to our ocean.

Above are all the ways you can do to save our ocean from plastic pollution. Those are very simple things you can do on your everyday life so if you would just push yourself a little bit and have some will, it will be very easy for you to do it and make it as a part of your daily life. Thank you for visiting our website and we sure hope you will get some valuable tips from this article.

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