Our ocean is deeply threatened by plastic pollution which is having devastating effects on marine ecosystems, with knock-on effects on human health and the climate. We need to seriously reduce the amount of plastic we dispose of and so this July we’ve teamed up with Ocean Generation to showcase the work they are doing to develop understandable, affordable and practical tools and solutions to help protect our ocean from human-made threats.
Who are Ocean Generation?
Ocean Generation are on a mission to mobilise a movement that encourages both changes in individual action and institutional change to overcome ocean threats. We all know that we must change our behaviour to protect the ocean but they’re determined to do so by giving practical solutions without scaremongering or sharing overcomplicated data. Ocean Generation are breaking down the science jargon, making it accessible for all.
Ocean Generation wants to make a real impact on policy.
At the moment, it’s impractical to go 100% plastic-free and instead, the focus is on becoming ‘plastic intelligent’. This means making small behaviour changes which includes switching to reusable products and reducing plastic intake where you can. Ocean Generation's focus is on educating young people on how to make more sustainable daily lifestyle choices. Given 41% of all people in the world today are 24 or younger, that’s over 3 billion young people who are going to have to live the rest of their lives with the consequences of today’s environmental actions. Together, a generation can be inspired to use their voices to influence policy change to encourage more sustainable management of our oceans.
What would a plastic intelligent world look like?
There are some obvious places to start; for example, institutional change that tackles the biggest culprits of plastic waste such as abandoned fishing gear which is deadly to marine life (Greenpeace, 2019). Greenpeace are calling for a global network of ocean sanctuaries that are off-limits to industrial fishing and for the UN to provide a comprehensive framework for marine protection.
What about individual action?
It may seem like the plastic problem is so huge that individual action is pointless but with thousands of people making small behaviour changes, we CAN make a difference. In turn, this sends an incredibly loud message to policy makers to manage our oceans in a better and more sustainable way.
At Ocean Generation, tackling plastic pollution starts with preventing waste creation. Some ways you can do this is by using refillable bathroom products (you've already got your Wild!), avoiding food packaged in excess plastic and repairing things instead of throwing them away. We've got loads of realistic suggestions for sustainable swaps which you can read them in our sustainable blogs here.
How are Wild getting involved?
To raise awareness of the wonderful work Ocean Generation are doing, this Plastic-Free July, we’ve donated to Ocean Generation to support their work to protect our Ocean. We didn’t stop there and last week the Wild and Ocean Generation teams headed to Brighton to participate in a beach clean to pick up litter along the seafront. And let us tell you - we found some quirky things!
Alongside encouraging behaviour changes to stop plastic getting near the ocean in the first place, beach cleans are a last resort to stop plastic entering or returning to the ocean. We'll share more about what we found on our clean and how you can do your own in the next blog.
Is plastic-free just for July?
Absolutely not; there’s lots more plastic-free content where that’s coming from. And if all of this talk about beaches has got you dreaming of being on one, why not try out our NEW Piña Colada scented deodorant.