Ocean Plastics: What Can You Do?

Following our recent talks at the Royal Geographical Society and the UN Ocean Conference, a common thread seemed to be ‘what can you do to help?’ What action can we take that shows that we are not ok with the levels of plastic being used every day on our planet?

Time and time again we’re seeing stories in the news about the damage ocean plastics are doing to our marine life and the seas. We’re seeing some shocking figures where the weight of plastic in the ocean is expected to be greater than that of the fish in it by 2050. More academics and well-known spokespeople are speaking out about the threat it poses to our oceans and also human life. What we’re not seeing so much of is: what can we really do that will make a stand? What tangible action can I take at home, that will make a difference?

So many people are talking about this, that we have collated some actions we can all take to make a change:

  1. Unwrap the plastic packaging of items you buy in the supermarket and leave it there for them to deal with. If we try to push the problem up the chain, they will soon get the message.
  2. Refuse plastic cups, instead bring your own stainless steel bottle or reusable coffee cup when buying hot (or cold) drinks. Some of the major coffee chains such as Starbucks, Pret, Costa Coffee and UK bakery chain Paul even give you a discount if you bring a reusable cup – saving money and the oceans, perfect!
  3. Refuse plastic straws in your drinks, you don’t need them!
  4. Write to the CEO of any store or supermarket that uses too much plastic packaging, tell them it’s an issue and something needs to be done. Some people have even had direct replies from CEOs on this. The more people who do it, the more success we will have.
  5. Fed up of seeing fruit and vegetables swathed in plastic wrap in supermarkets? Sign up to a veg box scheme. These schemes typically deliver in-date, in-season locally-sourced organic fruit and veg without the plastic packaging.
  6. Know your symbols and don’t buy items in packaging that can’t be recycled. Some people aren’t aware of what can and can’t be recycled, these can usually be found on all packaging, learn them, share them, educate your children on them!

Together, we can make a difference!

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