Its that time of year where we get through more plastic packaging than ever – plastic wrapped around wrapping paper and christmas cards, all the usual plastic packaging around our fruit and veg but supersized because we have to get enough food to feed an army, just in case. And dont get us started on plastic toys imprisoned in plastic packaging with plastic cable ties all wrapped in cellophane. Do toy manufacturers think that Barbie is going to escape from her box and run off with Darth Vader or something?
Having so much packaging is annoying for us, but it is deadly for our marine life. There’s currently over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans. It’s poisoning our fish, choking sea turtles and being ingested by dolphins who can’t digest it, so with their stomachs full, they starve. Festive, huh?
Luckily, there is lots you can do to help. From the simple things like taking a reusable shopping bag out with you, reusing or recycling whenever you can and even giving up rubbish bags in favour of tipping your waste directly into the wheelie bin to save on plastic getting into landfill sites.
If you have children you can reuse plastic bottles in all sorts of ways, by making them into bird feeders, bath toys or using them for junk modelling. If you don’t have children, pop into your local nursery or primary school and ask if they need any donations of clean bottles or boxes or plastic tubs for their arts and crafts lessons.
Luckily there is a fantastic organisation called The Ocean Cleanup which is working tirelessly to remove the plastic from our oceans and protect our marine life. Visit their site for info on how they are fighting to protect our oceans, and scroll to the bottom of the page to see how you can help, and where to donate to the organisation.
Images by Debra Torrance
Written by Victoria Pearson