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4 Simple Steps to Immediately Reduce Ocean Waste

our oceans our future

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Today is World Oceans Day, a global day dedicated to celebrating the world’s oceans and taking action to preserve them. The oceans are the world’s most valuable resource, and their deterioration is harmful to the Earth’s ecosystems. Even if you live nowhere near one, chances are some of the things you do still negatively affect an ocean. Each year, over eight million tons of plastic waste is dumped into our oceans, contributing to climate change and the endangerment of marine life. There are simple steps everyone can take to reduce that number and help take care of the oceans – try these:

Use a reusable shopping bag

Plastic shopping bags are the most used plastic in the world. The easiest way to avoid plastic bag waste is to bring you own shopping bag. There are still going to be times when plastic bags are unavoidable, but you can store them at home instead of throwing them. Keep them only for if you absolutely need them and reuse them if possible.

Use a reusable water bottle

Only one in five plastic water bottles get recycled globally, leading to billions of pounds of plastic bottles left in landfills. The average person drinks about 167 bottles of water per year, and recycles a third of that. An easier way to track your plastic water waste is to buy and use your own reusable bottle. They are purchasable everywhere nowadays, so it’s not a difficult task.

less plastic copy

Stop buying things with microbeads

Microplastics, tiny plastic pieces less than five millimetres in diametre, are a big concern. Some beauty products like exfoliates, shampoos and even toothpastes have microbeads, a form of microplastic. The problem with microbeads is they are too small to filter and go directly into our waterways. Fish are mistaking them for food and ingesting microbeads at an alarming rate. Fortunately, the Canadian government banned microbeads in June 2016 and they shouldn’t exist on store shelves by the end of this year. In the meantime, you can check this list to see which products to avoid.

Take action!

Any of the previous suggestions would be considered positive action towards helping the oceans, but there is so much more we can do. Make a donation to The Ocean Project and help them collaborate with other organizations dedicated to cleaning and preserving the oceans. You can donate your own time by volunteering for local cleanups. Even if you don’t live by an ocean, this will still positively impact our plastic waste problem. Lastly, if nothing else, encourage your friends and family to use reusable bags and bottles, and boycott microbeads.

For many of you, these steps are a no brainer. The sad truth is the majority of the world’s population is still uneducated on recycling best practices. Days like World Oceans Day remind us to be mindful of the waste we produce, and to do whatever we can to take care of Earth’s greatest resource.

How are you celebrating World Oceans Day? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

David is a Marketing Communications Coordinator here at 411.ca. He loves all things sports, technology, video games, and of course, helping small businesses grow.