Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

Ocean Plastic Problem: 5 Ways You Can Help Stop It

Credo Blog 14.04.2019 William Wayland Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

A 1,110-pound whale was washed up, some time ago, on a beach in the Philippines with 88 pounds of plastic inside its body. A few weeks later, a pregnant sperm whale was found dead off the coast of Sardinia, Italy, with nearly 50 pounds of plastic crowding two-thirds of its stomach.

What can we do to stop the billions of pounds of plastics being dumped in oceans each year? Here’s some background and five ways we can take action.

How does plastic get into the ocean in the first place?

Twenty percent of ocean plastic comes from ships and offshore platforms. The rest is a mix of garbage dumping – nearly 8 million metric tons of plastics are dumped into the ocean every year – as well as litter blown into the sea.

Because plastic is not biodegradable, it breaks down instead into tiny particles called micro plastics that fish can eat.

Plastic pollution in our oceans is so vast that, at the current rates, plastic will outweigh fish by 2050. Here you can find a good explainer from Vox.

Here are five things we can do to help slow and stop the ocean plastic pollution problem:

1-. Urge your elected officials at the local, state, and federal level to support a ban or tax on disposable, single-use plastic

2-. Put public pressure on corporations. Top 10 brands contributing to Plastic Pollution are: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Danone, Mondelez International, Procter & Cable, Unilever, Perfetti van Meller, Mars Incorporated, Colgate-Palmolive (These 10 companies are flooding the planet with throwaway plastic).

Consumer pressure on corporate polluters and brands that encourage disposable plastic works can do a lot. A successfully pressure, pushed Starbucks to create a 100% recyclable cup. Take action, like signing petitions, making calls and using social media to pressure corporations to stop the plastic pollution problem.

3-. Make the climate connection. Plastic is derived from chemicals in fossil fuels, which makes it a source of climate emissions and pollution. The fossil fuel industry depends on plastic production for a chunk of its climate-destroying revenue. In fact, the fossil fuel industry is set to triple plastic exports by 2030. The more we understand where plastics come from – and why they are so cheap and readily available – the better we can fight back.

4-. Attend town halls and debates. In the US, for instance, with the 2020 election season heating up, people can attend town halls and debates to ask local candidates – maybe even presidential nominees – to release their plan for cleaning up the ocean plastic problem and tackling the climate crisis.

5-. Stop using single-use plastics. While much of the ocean plastic problem must be solved by governments and corporations making drastic changes to policies and regulations and how business is conducted, we can all do our part by changing our behavior and reducing our use of plastic water bottles, straws, bags, and other single-use plastics. Here are nine ways to cut down your use of plastics.

See also, The largest clean up in history

Other suggestions:

  • Plastics are not the only problem but they are one of the biggest. Too many animals are dying from eating plastic out at sea.
  • We should use an app that indicates which restaurants or vendors are environment friendly. Some franchises are switching to biodegradable products straws/ utensils. These franchises should receive praise for their efforts and customers should know those that are an environment friendly provider and shop there.
  • We need to go after the manufacturers of the product itself. Just like big tobacco, we need to sue the people who make the product. If manufacturers switched to biodegradable packaging (etc.) materials, we could reduce the pollution horror in a few years.
  • Plastics are suffocating our planet! Your company made this happen, your company needs to fix it!
  • Dish washing liquid, laundry detergent, peanut butter, yogurt, milk, mayonnaise, just about everything packaged, toothpaste, shampoo, and too much more to mention. Cutting out straws and plastic bags is a drop in the ocean. Cutting out or accommodating life to use products that do not come in plastic is not always possible. We need biodegradable plastic or none at all.

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