Plastic is one of the most commonly used materials in the world, but it takes an immensely long time to decompose. Discarded plastic contaminates the ocean and kills wildlife.
The issue came into sharp focus when a dead whale washed up off the coast of Spain. A post-mortem revealed that it had died because of 37 pounds of waste in its stomach, including plastic flower pots. In the Netherlands, a beached sperm whale passed away despite frantic efforts to save it. Plastic lodged in its stomach had prevented it from digesting food.
Death by Plastic
As humans rapidly litter the oceans as they have done the land, death by plastic has become an altogether too frequent phenomenon for aquatic species. No creature is exempt. Ingesting plastic either causes suffocation or bowel blockage. Sea turtles regularly die after eating balloons – something marine biologists have determined they seek out among other plastic rubbish because they think they are jellyfish.
Help Clean Up the Ocean
Businesses can do their part to reduce plastic waste.
Get Biodegradable Cups – Commercial premises, church groups and other venues throw away a staggering 5000 plastic cups per minute daily. Using bioplastic made of corn is an alternative, as is a good old-fashioned pottery mug.
Plastic cutlery and straws can also be swapped for metal varieties.
Don’t Use Plastic Bags – Single-use plastic bags are wasteful, and they end up in the ocean. Offer cloth bags to customers instead.
Invest in Plastic-Free Packaging
Alternative packaging exists for parcels and food wrappers. Compostable pads are available for packaging meat, seafood or fruit, for example.
Hire a Waste Management Company
Waste management companies can help you with your plastic waste recycling. Choose one with a zero waste policy so that no company plastic ends up in the landfill or the ocean.
It doesn’t take a lot to manage your waste disposal and reuse plastic responsibly. With these simple steps, you can save numerous marine animals.