THIS SUMMER, LET'S PRESERVE OUR OCEANS!
Summer is here, to us the translucent waters and the fine sandy beaches!
into the blue
Each year, 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans, to such an extent that today we speak of a "7th continent", floating on the surface of the water or lining the seabed. Spreading as far as the Mariana Trench, this detritus threatens biodiversity. Moreover, specialists have established that at this rate, in 2050 there will be more plastic waste than fish in our oceans.
Mass tourism, a scourge of the oceans
Pollution mainly due to human behavior, knowing that 80% of plastic waste dumped in the oceans comes from land sources. Having become a tourist hub, the level of marine pollution in the Mediterranean basin increases, for example, by 40% each year. Reaching pollution records, the Mediterranean Sea is thus gradually becoming a “plastic trap”, the effects of which are devastating for the local ecosystem.
The way to waste
Pollution of the seas and oceans is partly explained because household waste is still too poorly collected or recycled, and sometimes even too often abandoned in nature. Swept away by the wind and the rain, the rubbish – most of the time plastic – ends up in the sewers, then in the rivers and rivers. Carried away by the currents, they then end their journey in the seas and oceans. Conclusion, when a cigarette butt is thrown in the street, there is a good chance that it will find itself some time later, floating in the Atlantic Ocean. And once in the oceans, it is very difficult, if not almost impossible, to clean up this waste. Remaining for a time on the surface of the water, the pieces of plastic end up fragmenting – under the effect of the wind, the waves and the sun – into microparticles invisible to the naked eye.
Plastic: less is more
Mainly used for packaging, this polymer-based material is difficult to recycle and above all a limited number of times. As a result, only 9% of the plastic waste produced worldwide would be recycled, the rest being incinerated, buried or thrown into nature. That is hundreds of years of environmental pollution for only a few minutes of use, because half the time the plastic used is single-use (cups, straws, disposable plastic bags, etc.).
Preserve our oceans!
To fight against marine pollution, it is up to us to act from the mainland. As the scientific foundation Tara Ocean explains in a recent column, it is useless to want to “mop up the leak when the tap is not closed”. In other words, the solution against marine pollution comes above all from our ability to change our habits to reduce our plastic impact. To do this, here are some ideas for eco-gestures to adopt this summer (and all year round…) in order to reduce our impact on the environment and replace single-use plastic products.
1. Adopt reusable water bottles
Instead of buying plastic bottles, opt for a reusable stainless steel or glass water bottle. And in case you have forgotten your water bottle, prefer drinks in glass containers, which you can then reuse or recycle, this material being much better recycled than plastic.
2. Refuse plastic straws
Ubiquitous in restaurants and bars, plastic straws are a scourge for the environment. If you can't live without them, opt for alternatives such as bamboo, stainless steel, glass or even paper straws.
3. Opt for tote bags that last
Another alternative to plastic bags, reusable shopping bags or tote bags.
4. Prioritize unpackaged consumer products
At the supermarket or elsewhere, try to reduce your consumption of plastic packaging as much as possible. For example, prefer unpackaged fruits and vegetables if possible.
5. Walk around with your own cup
During your journeys, remember to bring along your ceramic or stainless steel cup to replace the take-out cups, which often have a plastic lid...
6. Collect all your waste
On the beach or elsewhere, be sure to pick up all your waste (plastic, cigarette butts, chewing gum).