Plastic Pollution In The Ocean - Ways to Help Reduce Plastic Waste Today

OwnMuse believes in healthy sustainable living, that is reducing your ecological footprint. XO ownmuse.com


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Clean Up Our Oceans and Beaches - From your ComputerImage credit: Sithamshu Manoj

Why today is the day you choose
to help clean plastic waste
from our oceans and beaches
(while sitting in front of your computer)

Oceans and water encompass most of the world's surface. Oceans are refreshing, invigorating, powerful and imperative to Earth's entire eco-system. Oceans and waterways are life. So why is there so much plastic pollution in the ocean?
Oceans are all connected too and affect everyone, where ever you live. Pollutants in our oceans are having a dire effect on greenhouse gases and heating oceans globally.
What is ocean plastic pollution?
Tons of plastic - plastic bottles, plastic straws, plastic shopping bags and other harmful plastic waste are all known as ocean plastic pollution. 
Have you ever enjoyed swimming at a beach, close to home or on holiday? Listen to the waves crash on the shore, searched from shells or watched marine life.
Marine mammals, sea turtles, cephalopods, crustaceans, ocean fishes, sharks and rays... the list goes on, can not survive without ocean conservancy.
turtle swimming in oceanImage credit: Milos Prelevic
"Plastic pollution and other polluted are drowning marine ecosystems in trash, noise, oil, and carbon emissions. Covering more than 70% of our planet, oceans are among the earth's most valuable natural resources. Yet we're bombarding them with plastic pollution" (learn more).

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What can you do to help clean up plastic from oceans and beaches?

Cleaning rubbish from oceans and beaches, why today is the day, you choose - to help!

This blog post is not a promotion, there is no affiliate opportunity. I am not getting paid to write this.

The reason I am writing this post is as a true editorial piece to inform OwnMuse readers about an organisation who exists and entire purpose is cleaning rubbish from our oceans.
I subscribe to 4ocean. Click here to support 4ocean.

Clean Up Our Oceans and Beaches from your Computer - 4Ocean
Image credit: Dustan Woodhouse

A solution:
4ocean
Ocean Waste Management Company

4ocean is a company that is taking charge and changing the tides of plastic waste polluting our oceans and beaches.
4ocean founders, Alex and Andrew, experienced a dream surfing holiday oasis that was instead a haven for plastic waste "delivering more trash with each wave break". They were told the locals were working hard to clean up the beach ocean cleanup but couldn't maintain the quantity. This act amplified the crisis and paved the way for 4ocean.
4ocean dreams of trash free seas, through beach cleanup programs and ocean cleaning. A future where marine species are not forced to ingested plastics.
"We’re here to clean the ocean and coastlines while working to stop the inflow of plastic by changing consumption habits." 
From the top of the plastic supply chain to the bottom waste disposal all aspects of plastic habits hold answers for ways to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean. Our ocean's health depends on international coastal cleanup programs.
4ocean is changing the fate of the ocean with your help.
16 billion pounds of plastic entering the world's oceans every year.
4ocean is removing 1% of this annually. They need support to increase that number and fast.
4ocean is nowhere near breaking even on the large scale of pieces of plastic entering our oceans and waterways every year. 4ocean needs your help and support

4ocean-ocean-plastic-management-infographic-flow-chart.jpg

Questions about 4ocean

Is 4ocean legit? 
Yes, 4ocean are legitimately cleaning plastic trash from oceans and waterways.
The bracelet subscriptions which as stated are made from legitimating recycled plastic removed from the ocean. The bracelet sales state they will clean 1 pound of trash per bracelet. 4ocean is removing far more pounds than this per $20 sale.
How much do the founders make from 4ocean?
The companies owners, Alex Schultz and Andrew Cooper take 0.7% of revenue and the remaining 98.6% is invested in the company.
This question should never be about how much these guys are making it's about the percentage. Which is honourable and reasonable if not generous.
The owners have submitted their individual tax returns to the 'Better Business Bureau' to verify this - earning an A+ rating.
Are 4ocean for profit?
Yes they are, they sell products which means they can no be non-profit.
I ask you, why shouldn't they be a profitable company doing good for the environment and removing waste from the ocean? That doesn't mean these guys shouldn't be making a legitimate wage just because they are environmentalists. They are audited every quarter.
This is a bandaid solution, they need the world behind them. Government support is necessary to make a significant change, plastic reduction and bans need to be enforced. Reducing the plastic waste entering the ocean annually requires a global effort to tackle. Then possible we can start to eradicate what is already there before more permanent damage is done.
How much plastic waste is 4ocean removing from the ocean?
The tracker is far ahead of the sales revenue, view their progress.
Articles about plastic pollution in the ocean - 4ocean

Statistics of plastic pollution in our ocean

Oceans heating up infographic graph statisticsImage credit: Climate Change: Ocean Heat Content
"Why is it that scuba divers and surfers are some of the strongest advocates of ocean conservation? Because they’ve spent time in and around the ocean, and they’ve personally seen the beauty, the fragility, and even the degradation of our planet’s blue heart." - Sylvia Earle

Plastic pollution in the ocean facts

Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic.
Rising temperatures are changing the planet.
The entire planet's resources and the environment is intertwined.
The effects of plastic pollution on the ocean; severe recurring droughts, increase in extreme weather events such as heatwaves, bushfires and floods.
As the atmosphere is warmed, the hot air at the surface of our planet is heated. This effect causes the air to rise and draw in cooler air to take its place, creating what is known as circulation cells. This ultimately causes the air to be significantly colder near the poles than at the equator. Read more about atmospheric circulation.

Cleaning rubbish from oceans and beaches

Articles about plastic pollution in the ocean

Questions about plastic pollution in the ocean

Why are sea levels rising a problem?
"When sea levels rise as rapidly as they have been, even a small increase can have devastating effects on coastal habitats. Destructive erosion, wetland flooding, aquifer and agricultural soil contamination with salt, and lost habitat for fish, birds, and plants." - National Geographic

Ocean acidification

What is ocean acidification?
Carbon dioxide pollutants react with seawater to create carbonic acid.
Fossil fuels don't only pollute the air, the fumes pollute the water too. Seas absorb as much as a quarter of all man-made carbon emissions. This changes the PH levels and creates acidification.
Changing the acidification of the oceans is having dire consequences on the entire marine life and reef ecosystems. As well as for people who choose to eat fish and shellfish.

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What are the causes of plastic pollution in the ocean

Where does ocean plastic waste come from?
There are many pollutants and marine debris in our oceans, the main offender is, however, ocean plastic.
Many countries are fazing out single-use plastic bags. Yet for decades that existed and many have found their way into our oceans.
Other plastic offenders in abundance are plastic water bottles, plastic containers and plastic straws. Watch this and you will never use a plastic straw again. I actually emailed this to IKEA with a polite message, plastic straws have since left their shelves. Not saying that was my single-handed act, but please hold industry accountable. Be polite and use facts, video and positive alternatives.
Plastic has a life span on average of 450 years (learn more). Frequently entangled around marine life, causing pain and death. Plastic starts to decompose in the oceans reducing plastic particles sizes making them easily consumed and ingested by marine life.
Next time you see plastic on the footpath or in gutters I urge you to pick it up. Rainfall means that all that you see will get washed from streets and gutters into waterways.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

What is the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch'?

Plastic pollution in the pacific ocean is the accumulation zone of five offshore plastic waste centres. Located halfway between Hawaii and California. It covers 1.6million kilometres or three times the size of France.

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Oceans unseen plastic threats, plastic pollution under the sea

microplastics plastic oceans and beaches

Microplastics

What are Microplastics?
Why are microplastics a big problem? Most people have seen images of plastic bottles, plastic straws and plastic containers stewed across beaches and floating in the ocean.
Yet few people are aware of microplastics. These are plastics measuring 5mm or less.
Commonly found in facial scrubs and in soaps advertised as exfoliants or microbeads. What are those little beads? Plastic.
Plastic microbeads are used and then washed down drains and out to sea. Often with little or no consideration. 
Many countries are banning there use. 
The other cause of microplastics in our oceans is from the disintegration of larger plastic items such as single-use plastic bags, causing plastic bag pollution in the ocean. Other offenders are polystyrene, synthetic clothing and other plastic products, bottles, straws and containers.
Whilst plastic waste is visible these plastic microbeads are so tiny they digested by marine life, causing death and other painful effects.
"Microplastics also attract and adsorb toxins (such as DDT) from the surrounding marine environment" (learn more). 

Nurdles - Plastic oceans and beaches

Nurdles

What are Nurdles?
Nurdles are the pre-production pellets from which most plastic items are made.
Because of their small size and the way in which they are transported and handled, millions of these pellets are spilled in factories and other sites every year, and are often washed straight into storm drains and out to sea.
Their size, shape, colour and buoyancy mean that nurdles look a lot like fish eggs, and they are therefore eaten by a range of marine wildlife from fish to birds – with extremely harmful effects.

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What can you do?

Changing your consumption habits on land will help prevent plastic from entering the ocean.

Say NO to plastic whenever possible find alternative packaging or better choose no packaging.

People can’t be part of the solution until they’re aware of the problem.
Communication and awareness are paramount.
Understanding what is causing plastic pollution in the ocean, the source and how to stop more flowing into our oceans so cleanups and reduction can have an impact is a huge step.

 

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How to stop plastic pollution in the ocean

The Plastic Supply Chain

From farm to finished product, our entire supply chain needs to be socially, sustainably and environmentally aware and considered.
All consumers products must be designed, sourced, and produced with an environment first mentality.
Design processes for every single product created need to include a sustainable solution for the end-use, waste management and disposal.

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Knowledge is the key

Don't get overwhelmed.
There is plenty you can do starting today.
Sign up for a 4ocean or another ocean cleanup initiative.

Be sure to do your research. No company is perfect or completely transparent, business is business.

4ocean is doing a tremendous job and your support will take that a step further.

XO
OwnMuse
Related post: Water Is Life, How Much Is Too Much?


This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure for more information.

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