In order to protect our waterways and reduce water pollution from plastic, we are learning how to reduce plastic consumption. In fact, at current usage and disposal rates, plastic is expected to outweigh all fish in the ocean by 2050. That statistic alone should be a big wake-up call. We must take action now to preserve our waterways and fish species.
How does plastic harm fish? Initially, ingested microplastic particles can physically damage fish organs and leach chemicals. When microplastics get into our water and the air we breathe, it can directly affect human health.
Here are ten specific ways to reduce plastic consumption and help conserve natural resources today:
- Bring your own reusable cloth bags to the store for your purchases. Let the cashier know you don’t need a plastic bag. One of the best ways to reduce plastic use is to keep reusable shopping bags in your car so you can keep them handy and remember to take them to the store.
- Give up water that is filled in plastic. Instead, take a reusable stainless steel beverage container with you.
- Whenever possible, use baking soda and vinegar to clean instead of plastic-wrapped household cleaners. When you use baking soda and vinegar, you also reduce the chances of toxic chemicals being washed down the drain or entering our ecosystems (which can lead to contaminated fish and water catchment areas).
- Compost grass cut, Tree leaves, vegetables and leftover food to reduce the use of plastic garbage bags.
- When ordering take-away or delivery groceries, Let the restaurant know you don’t need any plastic items. Use real cutlery or purchase a set of reusable bamboo forks and knives to take with you instead of plastic utensils.
- Skip the plastic straws Use paper or reusable stainless steel straws for your drinks.
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of buying batteries wrapped in plastic.
- Bring your own ceramic mug or stainless steel mug when you order coffee at your local cafe. Reduce the amount of plastic coffee lids that end up in our waterways and landfills.
- Buy freshly baked bread. Buy fresh bread, which comes either in paper bags or without bags. You can buy bread wrapped in paper or plastic at farmers markets or health food stores.
- Avoid buying personal care products that contain polyethylene listed as an ingredient. You may not know, but some facial scrubs and other personal care products contain tiny plastic polyethylene granules. These plastic beads (often called “microspheres” on product labels) can get into our waterways. This plastic is then washed down the drain where it enters our aquatic environment.
In addition to these specific steps, let your friends and family know how to reduce plastic usage. Fishing and nature conservation go hand in hand. Therefore, take an active role in supporting and protecting our aquatic natural resources.