A Life Less Plastic – By Laura Wells – Aussie Plus Size Model and Eco Warrior
It is estimated that 6.5 million tonnes of garbage enters the worlds oceans each year. To most, this is an unfathomable amount, to the eco-savvy it’s a real-life nightmare.
Marine debris is a serious threat to the worlds oceans, wildlife and to humans, and with 80% of marine debris originating from land-based sources, I can guarantee you have, at some point, contributed to this devastating issue.
Plastics comprise up to 90% of the floating debris, which comes as no surprise considering during 2000-2010 the amount of plastic production exceeded the amount of plastic produced during the entire preceding century. Plastic bottles, utensils and bags, discarded plastic fishing line and nets are not only major sources of oceanic pollution but are also responsible for the deaths of 100 000 sea mammals and 1 million sea birds per year through ingestion and entanglement. Shocking is an understatement.
Plastics do not biodegrade but instead break down into small particles that persist in the oceans, absorb toxins, enter our food chain through fish and other marine life and compromise our water quality. It takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to break down at sea and is estimated that for every square kilometre of ocean there are 119 000 pieces of plastic. Degraded plastic already in the ocean is unable to be removed and will continue to pollute the ecosystem and affect humans for hundreds of years. The disposable, throw away plastic lifestyle we have blindly become accustomed to is exponentially reaching dire proportions.
However, we can prevent further plastic pollution by following a few, easy, common sense rules and changing the mindset of those around us.
- Say NO to plastic bags. Always carry a reusable bag/s in your car or handbag for the times you need a bag.
- Learn to REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. By reducing the demand for plastic we simultaneously reduce our waste and pollution.
- Do not put garbage in overflowing bins
- Use biodegradable fishing line and tackle.
- Buy reusable Eco friendly items such as containers, straws, bags, coffee cups, utensils, water bottles etc.
- ALWAYS take your garbage with you and aim to take at least 3 other garbage items you see as well.
- Educate your children and others around you about the impacts of plastic and lead by example.
That disposable water bottle you drink out of today will far outlive you, your children and your grandchildren. The future of our environment and consequently the lifestyle we are able to enjoy is everyones responsibility. With a little effort you CAN make a difference.
For more information on how you can make a difference check out www.take3.org.au
Written by Laura Wells.
Facebook: Laura Wells PLUS model
Laura featured on the famous Italian Vogue cover where they shot 3 beautiful girls who aren’t the bog standard size zero models!