Plastic pollution is killing our oceans and the marine life that dwells within them. This environmental issue is not a problem that can be resolved tomorrow, and neither is it somebody else’s concern – every one of us can take a simple action right now that will help to save our seas.
It’s estimated that over 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each and every year through disposable bottles being tossed into the sea – and that grim statistic is only expected to escalate rapidly in the coming decade.
That’s right – just because we throw our plastic bottles into a recycling bank, it doesn’t mean that our job is done. In many cases this waste is still tipped into the sea, and while that’s a worldwide concern, the UK alone plays a very prominent part in the issue. Continuing to tip plastic into bodies of water will put an end to the glorious and peaceful sights such as the one above. But it’s not just plastic bottles, is it? Plastic coffee cups, pre-wrapped fruit and vegetables all amount to the same problem.
Concerns over plastic pollution in our oceans extend beyond the ruination of natural beauty, however. In addition to the risk of eventually polluting the currently safe tap water that we all rely upon to survive, plastic pollution is a huge risk to the lives of marine animals.
Autopsies conducted on deceased sea creatures plucked from the ocean, most notably sea turtles, have revealed significant amounts of plastic in their stomachs. This leads to a horrible way for these poor animals and other marine creatures to die; they often end up starving to death, as the plastic blocks their digestive tract and prevents them from obtaining sufficient nourishment from food.
Do we really want the extinction of multiple species on our collective conscience? Nobody likes to imagine that they are contributing the suffering of animals, and we should do all that we can to prevent this problem.
So, how can we all play our part to bring an end to the plastic pollution that is leaving our seas in ruin? It’s really as simple as using less disposable plastic, which will naturally lead to an ever-decreasing amount of single-use bottles being dumped in the ocean. Let’s put an end to it.
The easiest – and most cost-effective – way of accomplishing this is to pick up a reusable bottle from HydateM8. You can take your pick from a tracker bottle, which will also help you ensure you’re drinking a sufficient amount of fluid on any given day, or an insulated bottle to keep your takeaway tea or coffee hot for up to 18 hours after purchase.
Both of these bottles can be handed over to a barista if you’re craving caffeine, or cold, clean water refilled at any water point, of which there will soon be considerably more all over the UK, thanks to an initiative from Water UK. You’ll no longer need to buy a new bottle of water from a local shop every time you find yourself thirsty while on the move, nor be subject to the ‘latte levy’ for purchasing a takeaway coffee or another hot drink – in the region of a 50p ‘tax’ for the privilege of drinking on the go. If you pick up a couple of cups of coffee every day, it doesn’t take a mathematician to realise that this is not only a waste of money, but also, if you look at the UK population, a huge amount of plastic that can reach our seas and oceans.
Even if we have the best intentions and go out of our way to recycle our plastic, there is no guarantee that the planet really benefits from this conscientious act. Carrying a reusable bottle sends a very simple message to manufacturers that we will no longer stand aside and allow them to pollute our beautiful planet.
Look at it as a simple matter of economics. Fewer sales of plastic bottles will hit companies in the pocket, and as a result their production will drop in quantity. With luck, this disinterest from consumers will eventually lead to the manufacture of disposable plastic bottles ceasing completely – along with other needless and disposable plastic packaging. If we work together to achieve this change in policy, we can all rest easier in our beds, knowing that our eco-friendly actions have helped keep our oceans blue and the planet green.