Updated: Jan 21
June 8th is World Oceans Day an event that started in 2002, each year it continues to grow as we realise how integral our ocean health is to our planet’s health and our own health.
There is no denying that we have a huge job ahead of us, not only do we have to change habits globally to prevent more plastic, and microplastics getting into our oceans and its inhabitants, we also need to clean up what is already there. The good news is that many people around the world are doing just that.
Plogging is a running clean up movement that began in Sweden and swept the world, I’ve taken part in plogging events around Sydney and while runners pick up rubbish from the beaches, swimmers and divers are picking up rubbish from the ocean. As communities around the World become more environmentally responsible and active, plogging and similar activities are movements that are only going to keep growing in popularity.
Commercial brands are even getting in on the action, Adidas recently launched trainers that are made from plastic removed from the ocean, Timberland has been using recycled plastics in their boots for years without much fuss. New brands are making a name for themselves by adopting the practice, such as Byron Bay based Liar the Label which makes swimwear from recycled ocean plastic.
Businesses are realising that sustainability and environmental accountability is good PR and ultimately good for business. Procter & Gamble is actively involved in cleaning up oceans, sponsoring community beach cleaning initiatives and recycling ocean plastics in their product packaging, they are committing to 25 percent of their hair product packaging to be made from recycled plastics, obviously there is more to be done, but at least it’s a start. Cause Marketing is on the rise, doing good is good for business.
Around the world the clean up efforts are already making a huge difference to the lives of local human and wildlife populations, perhaps one of the most impressive cases is Versova beach in Mumbai , a two year clean up operation saw the beach go from a no go area to a beautiful coastal area thanks solely to volunteers. Currently in Hong Kong there is a month long Adventure Clean Up Challenge. Six teams are awarded points for the amount of rubbish they collect from hard to reach coastal areas, the innovative methods they use and their community involvement in education about waste. A fantastic initiative.
With a two pronged approach we can change the future of our oceans, we need to remove the mess we have made and we need to stop polluting. You can help by:
Getting involved in one of the many clean ups in your area
Picking up rubbish when you see it, be it on the pavement or in the ocean
Reducing your use of single use plastics
Choosing products that are made with recycled plastic
Spreading the message
Choosing to swap products for experiences, less waste and more valuable for the soul
Go on, make our oceans beautiful again.