Plastic is entering our environment at an unbelievably alarming rate way beyond the what the planet can absorb it. There can be no argument that this is a global issue that has spiralled out of control creating our plastic world.
At Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures we are faced with the ever growing quite frankly impossible challenge to keep our beaches, bays & waterways clean for tourists to visit, we assist the local authorities daily but the trash just keeps coming and it is not only in the ocean. Land fills are bursting at the seems and recycling is a vain attempt to try to control the problem its even now entered our own food chain.. yes we are eating it!
I often hear visitors complaining that more is not done.. they blame local governments, other tourists and the local people but they seldom look at themselves!
Our company is very conscious of plastic usage and we try to reduce waste as a policy where possible. We spend countless hours cleaning beaches, diving for debris and also remove discarded fishing nets whenever discovered all at our own cost, we conduct regular Project Aware events to increase local awareness. As a PADI Instructor Development Centre we regularly incorporate these environmental issues into our education programs from entry level all they way to PADI Instructor Development and scuba diving internships.
However our efforts will be in vain if mankind as a whole does not change. Every time we use plastic we all contribute to this global disaster we all need to care more and adjust the way we live!
Politicians are so afraid of voters not appreciating the unpopular decisions that have to be made they end up not making the changes that are so desperately needed at all so Its time the public stand up and back those tough choices regardless of political party preferences before its to late.
Manufacturers are also often so afraid of cheaper competition they take the easy “single use plastic” option so again consumers need to support companies that do take the lead even if it costs a little more in the short term we will for sure all see the benefit in the long term. Downbelow also faces stiff competition in our field that does not take on the financial burden of a conservation but as the Managing Director of Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures and a Platinum PADI Course Director I take the stand and hope this is noticed by our clientele.
Manufacturers must also give consumers more choices as its practically impossible to shop without coming home with bags full of unwanted plastic but we can start by shopping wisely, use reusable bags, if you want a takeaway use your own containers, buy liquids in glass bottles or better still reusable ones, shop in markets where fresh produce has not been pre packed.. the list is endless but with thoughtful consideration we can all make a huge difference quickly.
The cynics may say I am only concerned because we work in the ocean environment and I am directly financially affected but I cannot describe the heartache myself and my colleagues feel when we find so many animals needlessly perishing due to discarded trash along with the natural beauty of the environment tarnished by debris.
Some creatures ingest and some are just trapped in the ever growing mountains of debris that is entering the oceans every second and it is not going away. Soon there will be more debris in our seas than fish and that is a fact we will all have to live with so next time you consider complaining or blaming others for trash on beaches or in the water you wish to swim in ask yourself how much have you contributed to this huge global epidemic!
We must all quite simply care more from manufacturers to politicians and act but most of all the general public must accept the tough choices in our ever changing world and make lifestyle changes.
For further reading, find more information about our environmental efforts and ways in which you can contribute to your own lifestyle.