Marine debris is litter created and used by humans that ultimately ends up in the marine environment.
It can vary from; plastic containers and plastic bottles, thongs, buckets, plastic bags, fishing nets medical waste, pretty much anything that is human made.
Marine debris is a stressing issue that is currently causing major threat to our oceans, and is harmful to marine life causing injury or death.
Have a think about it; imagine all of the humans in this world, and how many of those humans are utilising plastic on a daily basis, that is a crazy alarming amount of discarded waste. Have you ever thought of where it might end up after you have used it? If we all collectively implemented small changes into our lifestyles, we would see a positive impact on our environment.
Here are some of our tips:
1. Avoid purchasing bottled water
Only 1 in 5 plastic bottles actually get recycled and research shows that 20 billion plastic bottles are disposed of every year. Apart from plastic bottles often containing the 'harmful to our health chemical BPA', plastic bottles quite often end up in landfill or the ocean and do not biodegrade. Your best investment is a reusable water bottle made from glass or aluminium.
2. Say no to plastic bags
This is a big one!! We don’t need to have our apples, carrots and bread all in separate plastic bags (number one annoying thing about grocery stores). Bring your own green bag to pack your groceries in. We love to support our local farmers and they often offer cardboard boxes to their customers. Sadly plastic bags can be mistaken as jellyfish which is the favourite food source of turtles. Once a turtle ingests a plastic bag, floating syndrome is a common disease which sadly can cause death.
3. While your at it, say no to straws
Straws are another crazy one. Do you really need to use a straw to drink your juice? Straws are another nasty and commonly found plastic item in our oceans. Apart from plastic pollution, research also shows they are full of toxic chemicals that we should definitely not be putting in our mouth! Devastating research shows that 50-80% of marine debris is PLASTIC!! All of this marine debris is taken by currents and trapped into any of the 5 major ocean gyres turning these area’s into a contaminated soup.
4. Microbeads?! What are microbeads?
Those little balls in your facial scrub and body wash are in fact PLASTIC! Who would have thought? Because they are so tiny, they slip through water-treatment plants and end straight out in our ocean. You may be thinking what the big deal is, they are tiny, but some marine animals mistaken microbeads as their food source and thus ingest it (which then enters our food chain). We are all about the handmade salt and sugar scrubs and they are a beautiful alternative to mainstream cosmetic products.
5. Support ethical and sustainable businesses
Big corporations are major contributors to plastic packaging and do not often support ethical or sustainable businesses or manufacturing practices, which is a huge concern to not only our environment but to the communities producing too. Make the choice to support the organisations that are doing good for our environment.
6. Pick it up
Marine debris comes from land. Meaning that even if you don’t live anywhere near an ocean, the wind can carry waste into waterways which eventually leads to the ocean in some way or another. If you see some litter on the ground or beach, pick it up. You could potentially save the future life of a turtle, whale, dolphin, shark, fish etc... Two of our FAVORITE organisations that support the removal of marine debris are cleancoastcollective and take3forthesea . Check them out for a bit of inspo with your beach clean ups.
7. Eat sustainably and responsibly
There are so many amazing documentaries out there that are full of WOW factor knowledge on the meat and fishing industry. We’re not saying become a vegan or vegetarian, that is completely your choice, more so a 'part-time vegetarian' if you will :) Find out where your meat or seafood is coming from; was it factory farmed? Has your seafood been caught sustainably? Take note of how much meat you are consuming every week/day and re-assess if your eating meat sustainably. We created the term part-time vegetarian which suits this diet as such.
Some of our favourite documentaries are 'Cowspiracy' and 'Earthlings' (be prepared for this one though).
8. Recycling (Recycle plastic, glass and cans, to reduce the rubbish on our lands)
We understand that for some people’s lifestyles in can be a challenge to go plastic-free. We do know, that if you go plastic free you are forced into a healthier lifestyle though. Yep that means no chocolate bars from the store, instead that means homemade cacao brownie’s which are full of natural ingredients. YUM! But if you do really want that chocolate bar, tub of yoghurt, milk etc make sure you recycle and turn your once used product into a reusable item. If it happens to go in the non-recycling bin it will end up sitting in a landfill which is another concern for our environment.
By implementing these 8 steps into your daily lifestyle, you can help our oceans! There are plenty of other ways you can help our oceans. You can help by engaging with your local government to encourage the ban of plastic bags and if you are a smoker, dispose of your butts in bins.
We would love to know how you contribute to saving our ocean? And how you feel about our oceans becoming heavily polluted?
Comment your feedback on our Instagram page @oceanzen_bikini