World Ocean Day – How can we affect a change?
Today, Friday the 8th June is World Oceans Day. Unofficially celebrated on this day every year, this is the 27th year since the concept was originally proposed by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the 1992 Earth Summit (UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The World’s attention has really focused on the plight of marine populations and peoples of those nations directly suffering the plague of plastics polluting oceans and seas.
This was highlighted by the BBC’s Blue Planet II documentary presented by Sir David Attenborough, first shown in the UK in 2017. Through beautiful cinematography and a poignant commentary, the very real problem of plastic pollution became accessible to viewers, and since then peoples’ voices are speaking louder than ever for a real change.
This change, predominantly to reduce then remove single use plastics from sale, is now being introduced in local government policy.
Recently closed and now under review, the UK Government ran a public consultation ‘Tackling the plastic problem‘. The findings will be interesting reading when released.
What can we do?
So – what can the individual do to become small cog in a very big wheel to affect real change? Reviewing your single use plastic consumption is a very good start. Personally, I consider myself pretty savvy regarding this, however upon using the Greenpeace Plastics Calculator I was horrified to see the results! 648 items of plastic per year – if everyone in the UK has similar consumption, that would equate to 111,846,576 pieces of plastic PER DAY!
Here at Ecodek we are proud to make some inroads into the recycling of UK plastic waste. Our wood polymer composite boards are manufactured using 95% recycled material – and that has included 115 MILLION 4 pint plastic milk bottles in the three years to the end of 2017!
Hopefully the message of the World’s very real plastics problem is now making people stop and think. The BBC’s Blue Planet II certainly made an impact on it’s audience -- the Word of the Year was revealed on Wednesday, Oxford University Press examined the words used in stories sent to BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show’s 500 Words contest. ‘Plastic’ appeared 3,359 times in the 134,790 stories submitted -- up 100% from last year.
I certainly will be making some changes to my plastics consumption to see of I can get my numbers down. Will you?