Turning the Tide on Plastics #Cleanseas

Recently, I was invited to attend the Ocean Summit in Hong Kong, part of the Volvo Ocean Race. One of the tools they shared with us was this practical guide to ‘Turning the Tide on Plastics”. I thought it nice to share with you guys! 

Why reducing single use plastic is important

The truth about plastic

  • Plastic has been in widespread use for only fifty years
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year
  • Scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish
  • Plastic affects the health of our oceans and the thousands of species our beautiful blue planet supports
  • Plastic straws, bags and other debris can prove harmful to marine mammals and fish
  • Smaller pieces, known as micro and nano plastics, can enter the food chain where they could end up on our dinner plate in the food we eat
  • We do not yet know the damage plastic is having on our bodies
  • The Volvo Ocean Race has a powerful and unique platform to explore the issues and solutions that can have a positive impact upon the plastic that’s polluting our seas
  • We are working with governments, businesses, NGOs and individuals to address this global ocean crisis before it’s too late
  • The time to act is now so please join our campaign to Turn the Tide on Plastic

Plastic could be affecting your health

The scientific research into the health effects from plastic is very new but early research suggests that plastic might be playing a role in the following health conditions:

  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children
  • Obesity
  • Cancers of various types
  • Early onset puberty
  • Diabetes
  • Weakened immunity
  • Birth defects
  • Reproductive disorders

Plastic might be damaging our health

Scientists believe this happens because plastic chemicals enter our bodies and mimic and disrupt our hormones. Our hormones control our blood pressure, heart beat and metabolism, amongst many other critical functions.

Why Reducing Single-Use Plastics is Important to the Earth

Plastic is impossible to dispose of in a safe way!

Plastic does not degrade safely or quickly

  • Plastics accumulate in our landfills, our roads, our rivers and our oceans
  • Micro and nano plastics are found in soil and compost, in which we grow fruits and vegetables
  • We find micro and nano plastics in the water we drink
  • More than 1,000,000 birds and 100,000 fishes and turtles each year are known to have died from plastic consumption

The time to Turn the Tide on Plastic is now!

What you can do!

Refuse Single Plastics of ALL Types
  • Water bottles – Hong Kong throws away 5.2 million water bottles each day
  • Other plastic drinks bottles
  • Straws
  • Cutlery – knifes, forks, spoons
  • Crockery – plates and bowls
  • Cups and mugs – coffee cups and their lids are a significant contributor to plastic waste
  • Takeaway boxes
  • Plastic bags
  • Cling film
  • Sachet packs of ketchup, sauce, etc
  • Refuse even when the retailer tries to give you one
  • REMEMBER! The hygiene benefits of plastic do NOT outweigh the health problems it causes

Always follow the three Rs – REFUSE, REFUSE, REFUSE

Try These Ideas

REMEMBER – tell your friends!

  • Take your own reusable cups and cutlery with you
  • Make and take your own lunch
  • Support specialist plastic-free retailers (there are many online)
  • Use markets instead of supermarkets for your single-use plastic-free fresh produce like fruits and vegetables
  • Always take your own shopping bags
  • Ask your favourite restaurants and shops to stop using plastic (and styrofoam, if they’re still using that)
  • Look for alternatives – is there another option that is plastic-free or with less plastic?

Sign our pledge: volvooceanrace.com/pledge

Resources

Our Pledge: volvooceanrace.com/pledge

 


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