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Sustainability

Keeping plastic out of the ocean

At Ecopure Waters International we are trying to do our bit and help
reduce single-use plastic and keep them out of our oceans.

For every single-use plastic bottle being created there is a considerable amount of oil and electricity which goes into the making, transporting and selling, each one generating significant carbon emissions. Following their short-lived use, disposal and recycling inevitably consume yet more energy, and create more waste. Avoiding or reducing their use should therefore take priority over recycling.

What is plastic pollution?

In a world where we want everything fast and cheap, we are consuming plastic like never before and for all the plastic we use, a large proportion of it ends up where it shouldn’t. In the sea where we find food, on the beaches, where we like to go to relax. We are even finding it in wildlife far from the oceans and in these places too its causing harm.

How much plastic pollution is there?

Currently it is believed that every year 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. That is the equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world. In 2025, the annual input is estimated to be about twice greater, or 10 bags full of plastic per foot of coastline. So, the cumulative input for 2025 would be nearly 20 times the 8 million metric tons estimate – 100 bags of plastic per foot of coastline in the world! According to research from the UN there is now more than 51 trillion micro-plastic particles floating around the world’s oceans. That’s about 500 times more stars than are in our galaxy.

How long does it last?

For all its strength, flexibility and durability which has made it so popular the dark side of this it that plastic is incredibly hard to break down. Normally, plastic items can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfill. The plastic bags we use in our everyday life take 10-1000 years to decompose, while plastic bottles can take 450 years or more and when breaking down these smaller and smaller parts become micro-plastics that never truly disappear.

What does it do to the environment?

All over the world animals are being found dead and when we look inside them what do we very often find? Plastic. For all sorts of wildlife from the oceans and land it causes a massive issue as they mistake it for food or  become entangled. Everyone saw the video of the turtle with the straw in its nose, and this is happening all over the world.

How does this really affect me?

According to studies, 1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption now contain plastic, So without us even knowing, we have been eating plastic and we are still finding out how bad that is for us. In seawater, plastic absorbs chemicals like PCBs and DDTs which have been linked to endocrine disruption and even some cancers.

The beach is where we go to connect with nature and put simply, it’s not the same if it’s covered in plastic. Some of us rely on it being clean for our livelihoods with coastal tourism being worth billions of dollars to the local economies. Even if we don’t eat fish, or even go to the beach, all of us without doubt, breathe! And all that delicious oxygen? 70% of it is produced by marine plants. We all need to breathe…

Are there any good sides to plastic?

Plastic can be incredibly useful. It’s used in medicine for disposable syringes; arthritic patients have it for their replaced hips; and construction workers wear it to protect their heads. Without it we wouldn’t have computers, mobile phones or cars. Essentially, it is vital. The big problem is single use plastics and the quantities in which they are used. A plastic bottle for instance is used on average for 15 minutes yet could take 450 years to fragment.

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