Five Household Items Polluting Our Oceans
If you caught the most recent episode of Blue Planet II, you’d know that our planet has a pollution problem. Our oceans, in particular, are becoming increasingly polluted with plastic and general waste, many of which are coming from your own homes and you may not even know about it.
To help raise awareness about ocean pollution, we’re sharing a list of five household items that are polluting the world’s oceans.
As adults, we are advised to warn our children to be careful these dangerous, disposable items, but it’s about time we practised what we preach – because plastic pollution is more of a choking matter than a joking matter for marine life and birds. Carrier bags are very often found in the oceans, wrapped around coral and preventing oxygen in the water from getting to the living organisms underneath, if they’re not being swallowed by larger organisms like fish, seals, or sharks.
How you can help: Take an environment-friendly cotton bag with you when you go shopping instead of paying for a carrier bag – saving both your money and the world, it’s a win-win!
Who doesn’t enjoy an ice-cold drink now and again? We take canned beverages everywhere we go; to the beach, onto boats and ferries because they are portable and don’t break easily, which is great for us but absolutely terrible for the ocean and all life forms that call it their home. Indeed, these cans often end up inundating the world’s seas, rivers, lakes, oceans.
How you can help: If you can’t find a bin at the public beach, or if it’s full, bring the cans home with you and dispose of them... preferably, recycle them if you can.
Straws and Stirrers
Plastic straws and stirrers are very commonly used when drinking from cans and bottles. We get it, it’s convenient – especially the ‘bendie’ straw, which makes it so conducive to drink from any angle you desire, but the truth is, these plastic tubes are harming sea life. If you only knew the impact they’re having on our oceans, we reckon you would think twice before buying that 50-pack of straws on your next shopping trip.
How you can help: Don’t buy them. Don’t use them. Say “no” to them when offered at a cafe or bar.
These containers we’re all so familiar with are worse for our environment than you may think. Plastic bottles aren’t just polluting our oceans as debris, scientists believe that the carcinogenic toxins in plastic containers leach into the water and poison the surrounding environments as well. That’s not all, most of these bottles come with caps or lids, most of which also end up exactly where marine life doesn’t need them.
How you can help: These items don’t have to become pollutants. Take them home, or send them to your kid’s school, where they’ll find new lives as arts-and-crafts masterpieces.
The worst culprits of all – cigarettes, more specifically, cigarettes butts. They are found amidst debris cluttering the world’s waterways. If you think these filters are made of paper and that they would disintegrate in water, then you’re in for a surprise: more than two million cigarette butts are found intact in the oceans in one day.
How you can help: Personal health alone should be a good enough reason to not smoke, but if your own health isn’t incentive enough, how about our marine life?
There are many more household items polluting our oceans than these five – glass bottles, disposable utensils, microbeads in cosmetic products, paper bags, to name a few… but we hope this post has given you a better understanding of our daily life on the planet.
You don’t have to be a member of the BBC film crew to save our oceans. If you wish to do your part in helping to tidy up our beautiful Blackpool beach, you can, by taking part in our beach clean – find out more.