Over 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, but the oceans that inspired the name “Blue Planet” are under serious threat today.
What is Blue Trash?
Blue Trash is a term used to describe marine pollutants and contaminants with man-made origins, such as plastic, paper, metals, crude oil and by-products, etc. This debris flows into the ocean through streams, rivers and other waterways, as well as land runoff, overboard dumping, etc.
How Does It Affect Marine and Human Life?
Marine trash is a killer. Small debris is mistaken for food by fish, turtles, birds and marine mammals, blocking their digestive systems or choking them. They also get strangled or trapped by larger items floating in the water, such as six-pack drink holders or old nets.
Plastic waste accounts for over two-thirds of all manufactured material found in oceans. It decomposes at an extremely slow rate, but disintegrates into tiny particles that are swallowed by fish, birds and marine animals.
Hundreds of marine species are already at risk, and we might be next. Chemicals in plastic and crude oil products have been linked to birth disorders, cancers and weakened immune systems in humans and animals alike. When we eat seafood or swim in contaminated water, we’re ingesting these toxins as well.
8 Ways to Make Blue Recycling Part of Your Life
Blue recycling can minimize our impact on the oceans, and here are 8 tips to follow:
- Reuse Plastic Items – Plastic is everywhere, so reuse whatever you can. Use takeout containers as food storage at home and carry them for leftovers while dining out. Avoid buying bottled water, and refill bottles you already have.
- Recycle Your Trash – Almost 90% of plastic packaging never makes it to the recycling bin! Check the labels on bottles, jars and containers. Plastics marked PET or #1 are recyclable, but #2 and #5 may also be accepted.
- Buy Biodegradable – Instead of disposable cutlery and shopping bags, choose eco-friendly products. Shop around for biodegradable plastic products, which look and feel like plastic but are made with organic materials.
- Support Bottle Bills – Also known as container deposit laws, these encourage recycling among consumers, retailers and distributors. A deposit is paid while buying beverages and refunded when containers are returned.
- Clean Your Home – We’re talking about pollutants here, especially toxic cleaning products and chemical-based fertilizers or pesticides. Use organic solutions in your kitchen, bathroom, yard and garden. The oceans will thank you for it!
- Spread the Word – Most people don’t litter intentionally, but may not realize the damage it causes. Discuss it with them. If you notice litter, especially near beaches, pick it up and drop it into the appropriate bin.
- Join Cleanup Drives – If you live near the ocean, stay updated with shoreline cleanup drives and join in as often as you can. Also, consider organizing your own drive with family and friends, to de-litter a local beach or seaside paths.
- Go Green – Every step toward reducing your carbon footprint helps with Blue Recycling too. For instance, crude oil spills can be minimized if more people use energy-efficient lighting and rely on renewable energy sources!
Erich Lawson is passionate about saving environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern recycling equipments can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting Northern California Compactors, Inc blog.