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Prompted by several posts on the 30 Days Wild Facebook group about the amount of plastic waste that is littering our beaches and polluting our oceans and waterways I’ve been thinking about what I can do to help.
As the Marine Conservation Society explains, beach litter is at the highest levels since records began.
Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and the bags block their stomachs, often leading to death from starvation. Seabirds mistake floating plastic litter for food, and over 90% of fulmars found dead around the North Sea have plastic in their stomachs.
The Marine Conservation Society runs The Plastic Challenge during June. They challenge people to try to reduce their plastic footprint by giving up single-use plastic products such as plastic bags and water bottles.
As June is almost over I’m a bit late to the party, however, the Plastic Free July campaign begins shortly. This campaign began in 2011 in Perth, Western Australia and has since spread all over the world. Like The Plastic Challenge, it’s all about giving up single-use plastic products, whether it’s for a day, a week, the whole month, or forever.
Avoiding all plastic is a difficult, if not impossible task in modern life. However taking small steps can make a big difference. My small steps will be to say no during July to the “Big 4” single-use plastics:
- plastic drinking straws
- takeaway coffee cups
- plastic water bottles
- plastic shopping bags
It’s a start, and hopefully, something that will continue well beyond July.