Here are my gripes regarding plastic use, and some tips to help reduce your use. Get into a habit in July and continue for the rest of the year too! The turtles, whales and seabirds will thank you.
I turn quickly, grab the student’s arm whom is beside me and signal “stop, octopus.” Very slowly I swim forwards, my students scanning. And damn, it’s not an octopus, but a plastic bag.
There are many alternatives to plastic. Lobby governments to introduce plastic bag bans. Lobby restaurants to no longer provide straws. Lobby supermarkets to change their packaging, especially for fruit and vegetables that come wrapped in plastic when that item itself has a skin.
With a few easy changes, you can reduce your use of plastic. Say “no” to plastic bags and take reusable bags shopping. Say “no” to straws, sip instead, don’t suck. Bring a reusable coffee cup and a water bottle that can be refilled. Swap plastic toothbrushes for bamboo. Purchase toiletries without microbeads.
Many communities have groups who conduct regular beach cleans. If your community doesn’t, start one. Count the rubbish and record it into national and global databases, to provide a comprehensive overview of what amounts and types of pollution are impacting beaches.