But what can 1 person do? A fuck of a lot it turns out.
2.Clean up after yourselves. Throw all rubbish away in proper receptacles, on land or in the water. Pick up any debris you see while out and about. You shouldn’t have to clean up after others but unfortunately we share the planet with morons. If you’ve got kids, tell them why you’re cleaning up too.
3.Collect your monofilament fishing line. Don’t leave fishing line behind and retrieve any other line you may find while fishing, but be careful not to tug on snagged lines, which could be caught on habitat below the surface.
4.Contain and properly clean spills when boating. Use oil-absorbent rags and materials to clean spills. Check Ocean Conservancy’s Good Mate manual for helpful tips on reducing your negative impacts on the water.
5.Recycle used motor oil and oil filters. Local petrol stations should have appropriate facilities for recycling these materials. NEVER pour oil, paint, antifreeze or other household chemicals into an open sewer or down a drain.
6.Consider organic alternatives to household detergents and cleaners. Use lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda for household cleaning. Avoid using fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and harsh chemical cleaners that can wash into waterways. I use Ecover, and it’s bloody brilliant.
7.Choose reusable items and use fewer disposable ones. Use fewer disposable bags when shopping or bring your own reusable ones, do you really need to buy another bottle of water or can you refill the one you already have. Think outside the box and don’t be seduced by sexy packaging.
8.Properly dispose of used batteries and electronics. Use your local recycling centre. Don’t dump them in landfills. Electronics leach harmful chemicals into the environment that take a long time to disperse. Most supermarkets have battery recycling bins and almost everyone is a short car journey away from their local recycling centre. Call your local council if you’re unsure.
9.Keep streets, pavements, car parks and street drains clear of rubbish and debris – they empty into our seas and oceans.
10.Contact your locally elected representatives and let them know you care about marine debris – and that they should, too. Vote for candidates who support marine debris prevention and policies that protect our environment.
Top images courtesy of Surfers Against Sewage