Today is International Plastic Bag Free Day, which highlights a movement aimed at cleaning up the planet and saving our oceans.
Plastic serves as a major threat to marine life as it was discovered in a study conducted in The Royal Society. The study showed that smaller fish like anchovies are consuming plastic which is then transferred to bigger fish who consume them. Inevitably, the plastic that we throw away or do not recycle may end up back in our dinner plates as we sit down to enjoy salmon tartare.
The study also shows the impact of ‘micro plastics’ that have littered the ocean in debris. According to the Two Oceans Aquarium, scientists are predicting that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
A image of a seahorse stuck to an ear bud by wildlife photographer, Justin Hofman, went viral in 2017. The image tugged on the hearts and emotions of viewers and brought to light the severity of ocean pollution.
The reality of plastic pollution in South Africa and the world, is that it is destroying our marine ecosystem. Although some larger food wholesalers have put in plans to reduce plastic along with governmental polices and programs – it is up to the consumers to reduce use and the need for plastics and non-bidegradable materials.
According to the Two Oceans Aquarium, scientists have predicted that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
As consumers we are not fully aware of where the goods we throw away end up. Environmental Campaigner for Two Oceans Aquarium, Hayley McLellan says.
Plastic free July, is a campaign engineered by Two Oceans Aquarium and requires the public to refuse single use plastics such as straws, plastic bags, plastic bottles and take away cups – in a effort to reduce our plastic footprint on earth and sea life.
Two Oceans Aquarium will be hosting a month long event in homage to Plastic Free month – from utilising plastics to create eco-bricks, interactive and educational presentations on the impact of plastics – to pop up walls by Faithful to nature promoting products that enable consumers to ditch the plastic. From 3 July shoppers can take 10 plastic bags to the aquarium in exchange for one reusable bag in return.
There are ways to reduce our plastic footprint, check out the link below to visit commercial enterprises which are making a difference.