Where Does The Plastic Waste In Our Seas Come From?
Which rubbish actually ends up in the sea?
You've probably seen the pictures of littered beaches. They usually show a mélange of everything that the human household has to offer, from juice packets to PET bottles or the famous plastic bag. Although they were indispensable in the 1990s, today plastic bags are already much rarer in Central Europe and are increasingly being banished from shops.
Even if the rubbish in the sea didn't come directly from our bins, we are all responsible for it. We have to solve this crisis together, because a quarter of the rubbish that ends up in the sea consists of plastic, and this takes hundreds, or even thousands, of years to decompose.
Where do microplastics come from?
Even if it seems like you should breathe a sigh of relief afterwards, the decomposition of plastic bottles and co. is not good in itself, because larger plastic parts break down into smaller and smaller particles until they are finally less than 5mm in size and are referred to as microplastics. Fish and other sea creatures mistake these small particles for plankton and ingest them. The microplastics enter these creatures and can subsequently be passed to humans.
What most of us don't know is that a huge proportion of microplastics come from the tyre wear on our cars. A car tyre weighs about 1 to 1.5 kg less when disposed of than when manufactured. According to a study from 2017, this can even be considered the main cause of microplastics and could make up around a quarter of the plastic waste in the oceans. The only way to prevent this pollution is to leave the car behind or not buy one in the first place.
"No straw, please!"
No, it is not enough to order your drink at the bar without a straw from now on. Straws have become the epitome of unnecessary plastic waste and - don't get us wrong - it is important and good to do without them! Unfortunately, we also have to be aware that they only make up a marginal portion of the plastic waste in the sea.
Using cosmetic products without microplastics also makes sense, but this won't save the turtles, since, unfortunately, a huge proportion of the plastic in the sea consists of fishing waste and abandoned fishing nets. We can only indirectly reduce this unbelievable amount of plastic by immediately stopping eating fish. This is the only way to take the wind out of the sails of the industry and reduce waste in the sea.
The only way to reduce pollution in our oceans is through measures that protect our climate and the environment:
- Switch to public transport whenever possible
- Share a car with others if possible; Car sharing models are becoming more important and more accessible
- Consume as little as necessary; do without questionable products and ingredients
- Consumption leads to plastic waste, so it is best to buy plastic-free packaging and avoid unnecessary products *
- Eliminate fish and seafood from your diet
- Avoid animal products in food, but also in household accessories, clothing, etc.
* By the way, our tubes are made of bio-based plastic from sugar cane and are therefore of course recyclable!
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