Regular readers of Sealuxe’s blog know we’re not only passionate about natural skincare, but also the state of the world’s oceans.
We have written about beach cleanup movements, our resident orca populations, and how sunscreen can damage ocean life. Now, it’s time to talk about the pandemic of plastic pollution.
While there the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in quieter oceans as trade has slowed and slightly improved air quality in some places in the world (this matters as what’s in the air eventually ends in the ocean), it has also had a devastating effect on the marine environment – an increase in ocean plastics.
Many grocery stores banned reusable bags early on during the pandemic (luckily reusable bags are back to being used as we now know the chance of contracting COVID from surfaces isn’t as high as we initially thought). Many used disposable gloves and, to this day, many are still using disposable masks. Restaurants pivoted to take-out dining as a way of generating income, and the use of plastic containers shot up. This has accounted for 30 percent more waste in our oceans, according to Dave Ford, founder of environmental literacy organization SoulBuffalo and the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network.
“There’s 129 billion facemasks being made every month – enough that you could cover the entire country of Switzerland with facemasks at the end of this year if trends continue,” he said. “And a lot of these masks are ending up in the water.”
Whales, fish, seabirds, turtles eat our garbage and die. We’ve written posts about how eating fish that have eaten microplastics can harm our health.
Depressing, we know. But we still have some time to reverse the damage. Thing is, we need to act now. Lobbying local governments and joining with local beach clean-up efforts helps. Supporting wildlife organizations helps. Using natural products that come in sustainable packaging (yes, Sealuxe fits the bill here) helps. Buying sustainable clothing helps. Yes, even buying sustainable masks – such as the ones made by Reil Wardrobe which prevent 3.5 kg of plastic waste from entering the ocean, helps.
Even doing something small, adds up.