Almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists, which means those items we use for a couple of minutes can last forever. And, potentially end up in our oceans.
The amazing image above by @justinhofman speaks for itself. Justin captured this Estuary Seahorse while diving in Sumbawa, Indonesia and it went on to be a finalist in the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. You can read more about him in an interview with National Geographic here. The photo wasn`t just a way to capture an amazing creature in a unique situation, but also a way to raise awareness about what it happening to our oceans - “It’s a photo that I wish didn’t exist but now that it does I want everyone to see it,” he wrote on Instagram. “What started as an opportunity to photograph a cute little sea horse turned into one of frustration and sadness as the incoming tide brought with it countless pieces of trash and sewage. This photo serves as an allegory for the current and future state of our oceans.”
I would like to add a few hopefully useful words:
It doesn’t have to be like this. It’s easy to make a few simple changes and drastically reduce the amount of single use plastics in your life (and thus the amount of single use plastics that can potentially end up in our oceans).
The earbud is an easy place to start: do you really need one of these? They’re not even good for your ears.
- BYO cup, bag, bottle or cutlery. Start with one thing, and eventually you will potentially have a large, clinking bag of mugs / bottles / lunch boxes / cutlery and will always be ready for a picnic!
- Say no to straws. It´s that simple. Just ask for a drink without a straw. You could also talk to your local bar, café or workplace about ditching straws all together.
- Talk to your friends about the problem (and swap solutions). There´s also a huge amount of useful information tips and tricks online, so if you have a problem: just Google it.
- Clean up a beach (and think about what items you find, and how to substitute them). This could be as simple as Taking 3, or you could organise a regular cleanup with friends, or collect trash while you jog.
It’s not as simple as just cutting out all plastic right now, but it is as simple as just trying your best, doing what you can, and saving our oceans one plastic bag (or coffee cup, or earbud, or bottle) at a time.