It’s come around again, this year the focus for Keep Australia Beautiful Week is marine litter. With the official theme being “SOS – Save our Seas”, they are raising awareness about the simple things that we can do in our daily lives to reduce our impact on the environment and encourage action.
Did you know?
● Approximately 10 million tonnes of litter end up in the world’s oceans and seas each year.
●It is estimated that 70% of marine litter is on the seabed, 15% is floating in the water column and 15% is what we find on our shores.
● Marine litter consists of a wide range of materials, including plastic, metal, wood, rubber, glass and paper. However, it is dominated by plastic which accounts for 80% of the items found on our beaches.
Anna Hitchcock, the Coordinator of Gladstone Conservation council said that the seas are a really important part of our whole biosphere. “You may have heard that forests are the ‘lungs of the earth’ but actually most of our atmospheric oxygen comes from the ocean. Currently our ocean environments are struggling because of human impacts such as overfishing, plastics, sediment and even the noise of ships which disrupts communication between marine mammals.”
So these are really big issues, what can one person do? Here’s a few ideas:
- change your energy consumption to renewables – that will help with climate change.
- choose sustainable seafood – choose responsible suppliers.
- use less plastic – plastic bags have been a big polluter in the past but other plastic is also a problem.
- help take care of the beach – it doesn’t take long to pick up a few bits of litter and bin them when you get home.
- support organisations that help protect the oceans
- make a donation or join a local group.
You don’t have to commit a huge amount of time to make a difference.
Photo by Hayley Bracewell Photography