10 Simple Ways Surfers Can Go Plastic Free

10 Simple Ways Surfers Can Go Plastic Free

why go plastic free?

For a long time the world has seen pictures and videos of rubbish piling up on to beach all over the world floating in the water of desert islands or even the great pacific garbage patch creating an impenetrable trash island. this has been brought to our attention even more recently from David Attenborough Groundbreaking documentary blue planet. this was views by millions in the UK and are got huge media attention and got regular views like you and me asking what can i do to help how can i stop adding to this problem. now there are a few things that can help like getting organised with your local surfers against sewage community organising or participating in beach cleans as well as spreading the word or picking up 2 bits of rubbish every time you at the beach, that makes a big difference. but how can we a people and more specifically surfers make a difference and stop adding to the already huge amount of plastic waste in the ocean

WHY IS PLASTIC BAD?

Making a conscious effort to avoid were possible single use plastics like plastic bags disposable coffee cups and knives and forks are just some of the culprits We are a species that largely thrives on progress, which isn’t necessarily the worst trait in the world. But we are also a species that can’t get enough of a good thing, which often leads to the good thing becoming a bad thing. Our unquenchable lust for innovation leads us to mindlessly push matters to the extreme, and then push some more and more and more. We can’t seem to help ourselves!

Plastic hasn’t always been the villain of the story tho from its creation in 1907 it was a revolutionary product that gave us such a malleable and shape-able material that had incredible durability it made everything from unbreakable baby cups and toys to military vehicle parts and household objects. this increase in production became a massive 288 million tons of plastic  made globally in 2012. and this equates to over Eight million tons of plastic that’s ends up in the ocean every year; can you just imagine the sheave volume and what that does to marine life. That’s roughly the equivalent of five grocery bags per every foot of coastline across the planet. and it doesn’t just affect the ocean creatures as it starts from the smallest organism in the food chain a lot of seafood based products have now be found to contain traces of plastic in as a recent studies suggest that over 700 species of marine wildlife have reportedly ingested plastic, according to National Geographic. not only this but scientist predict that 99 percent of seabirds by 2050 will have ingested some kind of plastic.

Now you might say plastic isn’t the problem it’s what we do with it when we are finished that’s the problem. well if you don’t make something that last for 500-1000 years and it potentially toxic for a single use product and it was replaced my a more organic biodegradable product of totally reinvented would that be a better way to produce a more Eco friendly product with less impact on the world?

If plastic  isn’t recycle into something else it goes into landfill or as you have seen in blue planet II it ends up in the ocean to the ocean. no you may ask the question why does it end up in the ocean good question

HOW DOES PLASTIC GET IN THE OCEAN?

In a lot of westernised countries plastic will end up in the ocean because of the following reasons not recycles or properly disposed of, litter rubbish, landfills, waterways industrial leakage and down our drains.

How Much Plastic ? – a lot .. just in Litter alone there is over 12 million tonnes of plastic waste somehow finding its way into the ocean every year, if you want perspective it’s about the equivalent of a rubbish truck full of plastic dumping its entire load in to the sea every minute so by the time you finished reading this blog about 6 dumper trucks would have loaded all their plastic waste in to the sea.

  • Not a lot of plastic is being recycled – yep even with today modern technology a majority of today’s plastics can be recycled  with only about 9% of all plastic ever produced being recycled, that give you an idea about were the other 91% are. the rest end up in the ocean and landfill.
  • Discarded Plastic litter –  how many times do you walk down the street and see a plastic lined coffee cup with a plastic lid or a plastic bottle or plastic bag being blow about probably most day if you live in a town or a city. if it’s not collected it usually ends up in a drain eventually leading to the drainage system or blown in to the sea. you may have seen the sheer mass of rubbish left across the UK beach in the summer it’s not hard to think that that can all easily get blown in the sea and be floating around for hundreds of years to come  to the discarded plastic on beaches and towns can be blown into drainage systems and rivers that end up in the sea.
  • Down our drains – yep even down the plug hole tiny plastic microbeads, baby wipes, tampons, clothes fibers  all end up down the drain from households.
  • Industrial comercial leakage – plastics not being disposed of properly and escaping during the production/transportation process.

HOW SURFERS CAN GO PLASTIC FREE

You might think it’s impossible to go plastic free as a surfer , you might think there is just too much of it in our daily lives. well companies and business are pretty savvy if they see people aren’t buying their products because its got plastic in or demand a plastic alternative or they won’t purchase of refusal to partake in the service of companies will soon change so why no strive for that plastic free life and if you follow out 10 tips and make a few small changes think how much plastic you might save in 1 year and maybe your friends and family will follow. One person can make a difference and it’s a lot easier than you think.

    1) AVOID MOST OR ALL SINGLE USE PLASTIC

    Every year is it estimated that around 500 billion plastic bags are used globally. and that means more than one million bags are used every 60 seconds. where do end up ? a lot ends up in the ocean.

    Plastic container

    • Plastic bags
    • Single use Coffee cups
    • Single use plastic knife and forks
    • Paper plates
    • Plastic bottle
    • Plastic cleaning spray bottle
    • Shampoo – conditioner – body wash
    • Squeeze ketchup bottle (opt for the glass one

      2) USE NON-PLASTIC CONTAINERS

      Every year is it estimated that around 500 billion plastic bags are used globally. and that means more than one million bags are used every 60 seconds. where do end up ? a lot ends up in the ocean.

      Plastic container

      • Plastic bags
      • Single use Coffee cups
      • Single use plastic knife and forks
      • Paper plates
      • Plastic bottle
      • Plastic cleaning spray bottle
      • Shampoo – conditioner – body wash
      • Squeeze ketchup bottle (opt for the glass one

        3) NEVER DRINK BOTTLED WATER

        Buying bottled water in the UK seems pretty absurd when you think about it especially when you realise pretty much all taps have to be suitable for human consumption and almost across all of the UK every person has access to free drinking water plastic bottle are some of the worst culprits for plastic pollution as soon as you have used it its unless and it’s not meant to be reused. why not use a glass/ metal or even bamboo bottle and keep it on you even a plastic reusable bottle is better than nothing you won’t just save plastic you will save the pounds not buying expensive water.

        4) GET A ECO FRIENDLY SURF WAX

        No some people are pretty picky about surfboard wax and i get it you want the best traction possible for your stick but every choice you make has repercussions a lot of surf waxes are sold with a plastic wrapping which usually cannot be recycled  and a lot of waves are petroleum based meaning they made of the same stuff as plastic and when that wax come off in the water it can affect marine life, you might not think it’s much but with enough surfers over time your wax can create quite a problem for the marine life.

        way not try to find a Eco-friendly, no plastic wax that can biodegrade and is from a more organic source. Most companies now have it as an option so give it a try.

        1. beeswax surf wax
        2. hemp surf wax
        3. soy surf  wax

        5) SWITCH TO PACKAGE FREE SOAPS

         Something that we all might be guilty of is shower gels, shampoos and conditioners. these plastic bottles on average take 450 years to decompose !! and it’s not just us hotels Holiday apartment all offer tiny little plastic bottle that might last a few days at most. these plastic bottle clutter up the shower or bath and inevitably run out and end up in landfill or the ocean this excessive packaging can add up for some  family’s i know that go through 1 bottle of shower gel a week that’s a lot of extra plastic that can be avoided.

        Soap bars have been around for hundreds of years and it’s time to bring them back organic and non toxic company like Lush make some incredibly  shampoo & conditioner bars that smell amazing. They made from all natural products using ingredient like lemon and limes so you smell super fresh  also encouraging recycle of the small amount of plastic they use in their stores.

        Convenience foods are among the worst culprits for excessive packaging waste. Frozen foods come wrapped in plastic and packaged in cardboard, which is often lined with plastic, too. There’s not any way around it; it’s a shopping habit that will have to go if you’re serious about ditching plastic.

        6) GET A BIODEGRADABLE TOOTHBRUSH

        Plastic toothbrushes are the devil and the dental industry is taking note it take roughly 250- 300 years for a toothbrush to decompose. Now if were are to listen to the national dental association we should replace our toothbrush every 3-4 months  so the average person will have 3-4 toothbrushes a year times that by 60 million people that live in the UK and you got a whole lot of plastic waste. Switching to a biodegrade one you can throw it on the compost heap when your finished or even if it does end up in the ocean it will break down a whole lot quicker i would recommend a bamboo toothbrush as they very strong and  very sustainable.

        7) GET A BAG

        This is a pretty self explanatory one but some many of us still don’t do it. using plastic bags for a one time use is one of the worst for ocean health when you go shopping next get yourself a couple of hessian or big rucksacks or even a bag for life if you have to just whatever happens don’t get a plastic bag  

        8) CLEAN WITH HOMEMADE CLEANERS (BAKING SODA & VINEGAR)

        This is a pretty self explanatory one but some many of us still don’t do it. using plastic bags for a one time use is one of the worst for ocean health when you go shopping next get yourself a couple of hessian or big rucksacks or even a bag for life if you have to just whatever happens don’t get a plastic bag  

        9) REPLACE YOUR PLASTIC SCRUBBERS

        If you washing your body or the plates get yourself a plastic free scrubber, opting for a wood and bamboo Bristles or adding a scour or a cooper brush to your arsenal will give you some extra power. for the softer stuff you the good old cotton dishcloth you will save on the disposable sponges and plastic brushes and know you helping keep some plastic out of the ocean.

        10) BE VIGILANT FOR PLASTIC FREE ALTERNATIVES

        Being plastic free isn’t about committing your entire life to never using plastic again otherwise you might end up living in the woods on your own . it’s all about small steps to getting rid of a lot of the unnecessary plastic specifically single use. so next time you at a party and there are plastic cups maybe ask for a glass or take your own. another situation might be if you are on the run at your favourite Coffee palace take your own coffee cup. Most stores offer 10-20% off if you do so you be saving the pennies and the ocean at the same time.

        let us know if you though this blog was helpful or if you would like to make similar blogs or talk about different subjects

         

        *Decomposing times are approximates as varying conditions/factors have to be taken into account.

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