This article comes to us courtesy of Waterlogic
The bottled water industry is booming in Australia. As soda and juice drinks suffer from their poor health image, we’re drinking more bottled water than ever before. New data from the market research agency Roy Morgan shows that 5.3 million of us are now consuming bottled water on a weekly basis.
Although this is of course better for us than sugary drinks, have you ever stopped to think what the repercussions of this trend may be? Australia’s increased thirst for bottled water is causing significant damage to our oceans and putting our truly treasured wildlife at risk.
This article builds on an infographic created by Waterlogic that shows you what the repercussions are for this huge growth in bottled water consumption.
Infographic via Waterlogic.
The Full Scale of the Problem
There is significant damage being caused to the wildlife that enjoy our beautiful seas by our increased plastic consumption in Australia and across the world. Presently at least 1 million sea birds and 100 marine species are known to be affected by plastic pollution in oceans globally. When you find out that 583 million plastic bottles are produced in Australia each year alone you begin to understand why. This has a clear influence on the fact that 7 billion drink containers end up in landfill, littering our beaches and streets, or in our oceans. All this is a huge contributor to the terrifying fact that 99% of all the world’s seabirds will have ingesting some form of plastic by 2050.
What Are We Doing to Help?
There is hope, local government schemes and charity projects across Australia are already helping to fight our country’s oceans plastic problem.
South Australia’s Container Deposited Scheme
Introduced in 1975, this scheme reimburses you for recycling and has been a monumental success. At present 74% of all plastic bottles are being recycled across south Australia. There are plans in place at the moment to introduce this type of scheme in other areas of the country.
Clean Up Days Australia
Clean Up Days are a huge environment initiative, and over the course of their 22-year history, a total 302,213 tonnes of rubbish have been cleaned up and recycled from 151,909 sites across Australia.
Business Clean Up Days
Clean up Australia has now extended its mission to businesses across the country. Throughout 2016 281 businesses have already helped clean up locations across the country.
What Can You Do to Help?
There is so much even the individual can do to try and cut out plastic waste in their life and prevent the unnecessary dumping of plastics in our oceans.
Cut Plastic From Your Personal Life
There are several simple things you can do to reduce your personal plastic waste. Keep a selection of bags in your car to re-use when grocery shopping. Where possible you can purchase products that are in eco-friendly packaging such as re-usable or bio-degradable options. Look out for ‘up-cycled’ home furniture rather than purchasing brand new. Lastly why not use water dispensers at home, with these you can access great tasting filtered water without ever needing plastic bottles.
Cut Plastics From Your Work Life
You can even help our oceans by cutting down on plastic at your workplace. If you purchase a reusable drinking container that you can use on a daily basis, you’ll avoid the need to buy expensive bottled water. You may even want to use a filtered water dispenser at work completely removing you and your colleagues need for plastic bottles.
Participate in Clean Up Days
Working with others in Clean up days can improve Australia’s Oceans well beyond what can be done at an individual level. There are clean up days all across Australia throughout the year and you and even your work colleagues can help. To find out where the next clean-up day is simply search for Australia clean up days online to see where you can get involved
There is clearly a plastic problem in our Oceans. As long as we continue the trend of consuming more and more bottled water and living lives that are full of plastic waste then this issue will endure. Hopefully the information here will help others understand what the problem is and how taking steps individually and together can help our truly unique oceans. Australia is lucky to have some of the most beautiful oceans and diverse marine wild life in the world, which is worth protecting.