Life’s a beach, but lately our ocean’s are in such a state of distress that even little mermaids are trying to escape it. And when you have industry experts predicting that by 2050 (less than 30 years from now) there will be more plastic in our waterways than there are fish you know there’s a pressing problem.
In an effort to reverse this bleak outcome, September is dedicated as National Cleanup Month and the third Saturday of every September is dubbed International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day, or World Cleanup Day. For 35 years ICC has brought together over 100 countries to be part of the wave of change and help protect our planet’s precious marine environment.
According to the Surfrider Foundation, the five most common discarded items found on the shores are cigarette butts, plastic beverage bottles, their caps, food wrappers, and plastic straws. In 2020 alone, ICC brought together over 221,000 people to collect more than 5.2 million pounds of waterside trash across nearly 50,000 miles for a total of upward of 8 million items. That’s a lot of trash. But, if you’re not a seaside resident you might be wondering— why you should care?
The oceans make up over 70% of our planet, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give it our 100%. We are all interconnected and, like everything else in this world, when one part of our planet suffers the rest of it, eventually, suffers too.
Plastics are durable, which is great in use but detrimental upon disposal. Unlike organic materials—think anything made from mother nature (trees, seeds, plants, etc)— plastics don’t biodegrade. Instead, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles. These particles eventually become too small to notice but they are capable of making a big impact. When these teeny tiny little particles enter our oceans marine wildlife, or any wildlife for that matter, ingests it and, as a direct result, either die or the plastic accumulates. Which means that nano plastics in the fish we catch and consume end up on our plates and in our digestive system.
It’s unpleasant. But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to be proactive about our environment this September and all year round. Partake in a beach clean up anytime of the year. And reuse, recycle, or upcycle materials (like sending us your pool floats!). If everyone properly disposed of even one plastic waste product a day, or opted for an organic material instead, imagine the world of change it could create?
By being part of the plastic revolution we join a global effort to protect our oceans and ourselves. Just think about all the Flounders or Scuttle’s out there. Shouldn’t we want to be part of both of their worlds?
Remember Me Green x Nikki On The Daily