Usage of plastic is an integral part of our daily life, from to grocery bags, simple utensil such as plastic fork and spoon and even a straw. Plastic is an unavoidable element of our lives in a variety of forms. What worse? Plastic isn’t biodegradable, which accentuates the threat of lingering waste plastic for years and for generations to come. Plastic have brought human life convenience but plastics pollution has a direct and deadly effect on wildlife.
Turtle eating plastic bag ©Paulo Oliveira
Thousands of seabirds and sea turtles, seals and other marine mammals are harmed each year. Injuries and deaths are mainly caused by ingestion of plastics, starvation, suffocation, infection, drowning and entanglement. Endangered wildlife like Hawaiian monk seals and Pacific loggerhead sea turtles are among nearly 700 species that eat and get caught in plastic litter. Made to be used just once, plastic can last forever in the environment. It simply has to wait for its “victim” to decompose so that it can be released back into the environment. Plastic does not decompose - it will be ready to harm again soon.
A plastic band restricts the growth of a blue-striped grunt fish ©Karen Doody
As a fellow diver, how can we do our part to protect our beloved ocean and its marine creatures?
REFUSE - Refuse single-use plastic as much as possible. Bring recyclable carrier bags for your shopping needs or even at a fast food chain restaurant, drink directly from the cup instead of taking a straw
RECYCLE - Recycle everything you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse. Do not simply toss it away, check with your local service provider to get a recycling bin
SPREAD - Tell your friends and family about the epidemic that is ocean pollution. Once people begin to see how devastating the effects of ocean pollution are, then they will start to make changes to their lifestyles.
Start the CHANGE today! Make a difference for you and your fellow neighbours.