Have you been watching Blue Planet? If not, what are you doing with your life?! It’s the perfect end to the weekend, sitting down with a hot chocolate and listening to David Attenborough chat about the sea.
A couple of episodes ago he spoke about the damage we are doing to the oceans, marine life and the planet. Specifically to do with our plastic waste. There was a heartbreaking image of a whale, clinging on to her baby who had died due to the toxins from plastic waste. If that doesn’t make you reevaluate your life choices, what will?
The Blue Planet team collected every bit of plastic they found whilst filming, and they said there was never a dive where they didn’t come across some form of plastic. David Attenborough has said plastic, along with global warming, is the biggest threat to the conservation of the ocean.
If this doesn’t scare you, here are some more statistics about how our plastic waste is destroying the oceans. (Sourced here)
- 300 million – tons of plastic produced globally each year
- 12 per cent – amount of plastic which is recycled
- Five trillion – pieces of microplastic in ocean, with one rubbish truck load added each minute
- 11,000 – pieces of microplastic ingested by humans each year from seafood
- 780,000 – microplastics humans will ingest by the end of the century if trends continue
- 8.5 billion – plastic bags used in English supermarkets annually before 5p charge
- 6 billion – estimated bags removed from circulation annually at last count, an 80 per cent reduction.
- 12 minutes – useful lifespan of average plastic bag
How can we help?
We can all help reduce the amount of waste being dumped into the ocean by looking at our own lives, and taking small steps to become more eco-friendly. One of my biggest problems is that I love a cup of coffee, and I always have them to takeaway and bin my cup.
On average, 100 billion single use cups are thrown in a landfill every year. We all read the news that even DEFRA, the Environment Department are contributing to this ridiculously large number.
So, I decided to start using a reusable cup. I have a KeepCup but there are plenty of other brands out there you can choose from. It’s just one step I’ve taken to help reduce the waste in the world, and if everybody just made one change to their lives to become more eco-friendly, the planet would be in much better shape than it is right now.
There are some places in Brighton that offer you a discount when you bring in your own cup. Sadly, whilst doing my research for this post I came to realise the number of places offering this is quite small. I know we shouldn’t need an incentive to be kinder on the planet, but I really thought Brighton coffee shops would be leading the way on this front. We are Green after all!
Flying Bean Coffee: 30p off your drink
Point One Coffee: 10% off your drink
Cafe Plenty: 5% off your drink
Small Batch: 20p off your drink
(N+1): 10% off your drink
What will you do to try and reduce plastic waste?