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Cool Initiatives For Ocean Waste Management

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Our oceans are facing unprecedented levels of pollution, and the impact this has on marine life is devastating! This is largely due to the amounts of plastic that end up in landfills, rivers and oceans. Recently, the problem of ocean waste management has become more pressing due to the rising levels of pollution. Thankfully, various organizations and individuals are actively working towards resolving this issue and developing innovative solutions. This blog post will explore a few of the initiatives being implemented and discuss how you can play your part in keeping our oceans clean!

Plastic Recycling Initiatives

Sign on pole reading "Planet Earth First"

Raising awareness on sustainability.

Plastic that accumulates in landfills, rivers and oceans causes significant harm to wildlife and ecosystems. It’s crucial that we recycle plastic in order to protect our natural environments from further devastation. Recycling can reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in these environments, and also conserve energy and resources. Here are some innovative ways in which plastic can be recycled. 

Plastic Bottle Deposit Programs

The idea of these programs are to incentivize people to recycle their plastic bottles at designated recycling centers. By offering financial rewards, people are more likely to be motivated to recycle their bottles. Because of this, these initiatives have proven to be successful. One example is The Bottle Bill Resource Guide, a non-profit entity that provides information and resources on bottle deposit programs and laws in the US. Their goal is to enhance and support programs that aim to boost the recycling of plastic bottles and other containers. 

Plastic-To-Fuel Technology

This technology is able to convert plastic into fuels such as diesel and petrol. This initiative recycles plastic and also has the added benefit of offsetting the use of potentially-harmful fossil fuels. Plastic-to-fuel technology uses involves heating plastic waste, which causes the plastic to break down into smaller molecules. These molecules then produce fuels like diesel, gasoline, or jet fuel.

Circular Economy 

The concept of a circular economy for plastic waste revolves around keeping plastic materials within a closed-loop system. In this system, plastics are continuously reused rather than being thrown away. The process involves collecting plastic waste and recycling it to create new products or packaging materials. This can be achieved by means of mechanical or chemical recycling methods. Mechanical recycling involves melting down plastic waste to create new items, while chemical recycling involves breaking down plastic waste into its constituent molecules.

Educational Programs

Many organizations in the US are currently working on educating the public on reduction of plastic waste. Education may be the key in increasing awareness on plastic waste amongst the different generations. Let’s take a look at some organizations who are continuing to fight the good fight! 

Ocean Heroes Bootcamp

This educational program focuses on the next generation, aimed at people between the ages of 11-18 years old. Ocean Heroes educates the youth on how they can make a positive impact, specifically with regards to ocean waste management. It motivates students to take action in their communities (and beyond) to decrease plastic waste. It does this by providing them with online tools and mentorship in order to developing the skills required to affect positive change.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

This administration has a particular educational program known as the Marine Debris Program. It highlights the various sources of marine debris and educates the public on their negative impact. They particularly focus on educators, and provide them with the necessary tools to educate students on these topics. Lesson plans, actionable activity plans and educational videos – all aimed at reducing plastic waste from reaching our oceans. 

The Plastic Pollution Coalition

This US-based organization was founded in 2009. Since then it has grown into a global network of people, organizations, and corporations dedicated to addressing plastic pollution. The organization promotes laws and activities that limit plastic pollution, such as the reduction of single-use plastics and the promotion of recycling and composting. The Plastic Pollution Coalition provides a variety of concepts and resources to assist individuals and organizations in reducing their use of plastic and promoting more sustainable practices. These resources contain plastic-free guidelines, strategies for minimizing plastic in everyday life, and information on sustainable alternatives to plastic products.

How You Can Help At Home

Crushed plastic water bottles in a pile.

Sustainability through reusing plastic.

Our oceans’ health is critical to the health of our planet, and everyone can help to protect it. Beach cleanups, which are conducted by a range of individuals and organizations, are one way to get involved. Furthermore, decreasing our personal use of plastic and ensuring that such waste is properly disposed of are critical steps we can take to prevent additional plastic from ending up in our oceans.

Beach Cleanups 

Beach cleanups are an easy way to get involved in helping keep our oceans clean. Thankfully, there are many people and organizations who actively organize beach cleanups in their local communities. There are also websites such as Ocean Conservancy and Clean Ocean Access that host various beach cleanups in which you can get involved. Alternatively, you should search social media for beach cleanup initiatives or consider joining an environmental club. If you are unable to find any active beach cleanup programs, consider starting one yourself. Gather some of your friends and family and hit the beach armed with garbage bags!

Reduce Plastic Usage 

There are excessive amounts of plastic being dumped into our oceans every single day. A great way to combat this from your own home is to reduce the amount of plastic you use, and be more aware of products and brands that use excessive amounts of plastic. Using a refillable water bottle, using paper bags for grocery shopping and using reusable or glass containers for food storage can significantly reduce the amount of plastic you use. Furthermore, saying yes to glass over plastic, avoiding the use of plastic straws and saying no to plastic cutlery will also help in reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans.

Proper Waste Disposal 

Recycling plastic properly is a valuable strategy. It allows for the transformation of plastic waste into new products, minimizing the necessity to generate new plastic, and mitigating the accumulation of plastic in landfills. Although plastic can take 100’s of years to break down, ensuring that unrecyclable plastic waste ends up in landfills is critical to keeping plastic out of the oceans. This is why it’s essential to educate and inform others. By raising awareness, individuals can make informed decisions about how they dispose of their waste and take action to reduce their plastic usage.

Maple Holistics Recycling Program

If you want to get green fingers without getting your hands dirty, we hear you. That’s why we put together our Recycling Program initiative to make clean beauty a bit easier and give you rewards in the process! For every six bottles of Maple Holistics products that you recycle, we’ll send you a complimentary bottle of shampoo or conditioner – OR have an equivalent donation made to an environmentally-friendly charity if you’d prefer. We believe that it’s the little things in life that add up and that changing the world starts with you, the individual! 

 

Conclusion

The issue of plastic pollution in our oceans is a growing worry that requires immediate response. Plastic recycling initiatives, plastic-to-fuel technology, a circular economy and educational programs are just a few of the inventive solutions being developed by various groups and individuals. Everyone can help keep our oceans cleaner by participating in beach cleanups, minimizing plastic usage, and properly disposing of plastic waste. With the right actions, we can protect our oceans and ensure that they remain healthy and full of life for generations to come!