More plastic in the ocean than fish?
As many of us might know, plastic pollution is a major problem on our planet. The amount of plastic waste in the oceans is increasing all the time. Only 5% of the plastic we use is being recycled, the rest is single-use plastic such as food wrappers, straws, plastic bottles and plastic bags. Nearly half of the plastic we use floats and eventually ends up in the ocean gyres. This waste is extremely harmful or even deadly for the wildlife. When plastic enters the ocean, it breaks into tiny pieces, making it dangerous for even the microscopic sea life. Human body also absorbs plastic chemicals, and the compounds found in plastic have potential negative health effects. The ocean pollution contaminates our food chain and has an effect on all life on the planet. Here is a link to a trailer of a very impressive film called A Plastic Ocean https://www.plasticoceans.org/watch-trailer/ Please take some time and watch it, you won’t be disappointed!
- Plastic does not degrade, it breaks into smaller pieces but never disappears
- If we don’t change our habits, by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish
- Almost 90% of the garbage in the ocean is plastic waste
- One million sea birds and 100 000 marine mammals are killed every year by the plastic waste
- We use 1,6 million barrels of oil just to produce plastic water bottles
- 80% of the garbage in the ocean is from land-based sources
During the wet season in Bali, we can see the rains rinse the rubbish into the sea. Then the onshore winds bring it all back to the beautiful beaches of this paradise island. For surfers this garbage is really bad. It affects the way our board performs in the water because plastic bags and other waste gets stuck on our leash, fins and our body. Last year Bali declared a ‘plastic emergency’ since the volume of plastic on the beaches was starting to affect the tourism. Luckily, the locals as well as tourists have been taking action in order to bring awareness of this problem to more people.
These amazing sisters, Isabel and Melati from Bali, are campaigning against plastic bags on the island. Their goal is to decrease the usage of plastic bags by promoting the use as well as production of alternative, environmentally friendly bags. They do educational presentations, festivals and beach cleanups to raise public awareness and promote their cause. They were inspired by positive world leaders like Nelson Mandela and Lady Diana during their lesson at school. Isabel and Melati arranged the largest beach cleanup in Bali with 12 000 volunteers! They finally have the support of Bali’s governor Mangku Pastika, who signed a memorandum of understanding confirming that he would support the girls to make Bali plastic bag free.
If you want to learn more about this awesome campaign or donate to support the cause please visit their website: http://www.byebyeplasticbags.org/