Marine lit­ter is stran­gling our oceans

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD OCEANS DAY -

PLAS­TIC is the most com­mon marine lit­ter found in the ocean. It is harm­ful for the en­vi­ron­ment, as it does not get break down eas­ily and is of­ten con­sid­ered as food by marine an­i­mals.

Large pieces of­ten orig­i­nate from wrecked ves­sels, lost fish­ing nets and lost cargo con­tain­ers. Medium pieces in­clude plas­tic shop­ping bags or plas­tic wa­ter and cool drink bot­tles.

Small pieces in­clude syn­thetic cloth fi­bres, plas­tic mi­crobeads and big­ger pieces of plas­tic that have been worn down by fric­tion and by photo-de­grad­ing (break­ing down due to ex­po­sure to the sun).

Be­gin by pay­ing at­ten­tion to all the plas­tic that en­ters and ex­its your life.

Where, why, when and how are your plas­tic items ac­cu­mu­lated and dis­posed of ? Are there ways that you can refuse cer­tain items or seek bet­ter, plas­tic-free al­ter­na­tives?

Does con­ve­nience out­weigh our col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity to lead by ex­am­ple?

Learn what you can about im­ple­ment­ing re­cy­cling at your work, in your home or at your church or your kids’ school.

Along with pa­per, glass and tin, most plas­tics – in­clud­ing poly­styrene – can be re­cy­cled.

These can be dropped off or picked up by a num­ber of com­pa­nies, if your mu­nic­i­pal­ity does not sup­ply the ser­vice al­ready.

With­out ma­te­ri­als to re­cy­cle, the re­cy­cling in­dus­try is not sus­tain­able, so the more we can send to these fa­cil­i­ties the bet­ter.

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