…That’s equivalent to 16 shopping bags full of plastic for every metre of coastline. These statistics are alarming, but what’s even more alarming is that production of single-use plastic is increasing exponentially by the year.
The proliferation of plastic in the last 70 or so years has been extraordinary and we are now producing nearly 300 million tonnes of plastic every year, half of which is single-use plastic. Plastic is cheap, durable and versatile making it ideal for many applications, however these qualities have also resulted in it becoming a significant environmental issue.
We have become so accustomed to purchasing everything in plastic, from basic food and water through to personal and household items, and as a result we have the unnecessary and entirely unsustainable problem of plastic pollution on our hands.
It is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050 and that almost 100% of sea birds on the planet will have consumed some.
Some plastic is toxic and can disrupt hormones that are crucial for healthy body cells. Even if the plastic itself is not toxic, it attracts a range of other poisons and pollutants that have also spilled into the natural world.
To sea turtles, plastic bags in the water can look like jellyfish.
Floating on the surface of water, plastic can appear to be a tasty snack for a seagull, based on millenia of experience.
Unsurprisingly, gulping down all this indigestible poison instead of food is bad for their health.
You may not think much of a plastic grocery bag flying past you on the beach, but over time, all those bags and bottles and packaging start to add up.
This issue is not even close to being a simple fix, but it’s time for each and every one of us to start doing something about it.
Take reusable bags when you do your grocery shopping.
Say no to disposable coffee cups.
Get yourself a reusable drink bottle.
Pick some rubbish up from the street.
Say NO to single-use plastic.