TACKLING OCEAN PLASTICS
Dawn has spent the last 33 years living in riverside and coastal towns and works as a professional police boat skipper. She knows first-hand the impact pollution has on our oceans and has a real passion to make an impact on the problem.
There is currently more than 8 million tonnes of plastics that have been discarded into our oceans. This plastic takes centuries to degrade so the more plastic we discard the worse the problem is going to get. A plastic water bottle can take 450 years to break down however some research suggests that plastic submerged in deep or cold water may never completely disappear. This could mean that by 2050, the plastic in the world's oceans will weigh more than all the fish, according to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
This problem affects every person and living creature on the planet as the discarded plastics will eventually end up in the food chain. Small particles of plastic cannot be distinguished by marine life and plankton from its normal food. As small creatures are eaten by larger ones, the poisoning of the food chain continues to get worse.
The survival of marine wildlife is itself at threat as every year a huge number of sea birds, fish life, whales and dolphins die from becoming entangled in plastic waste or eating so much plastic they become malnourished and die. It is estimated that 308,000 whales and dolphins die every year because they get tangled and drown.
Dawn has actively been raising awareness about this global problem by creating a high profile platform to spread her message. She has spoken in over 50 school across Essex during the last 12 months, encouraged others to reduce their single use plastics by setting up a plastic free campaign in her local town and generally tries to lead by example.
Dawns ethos is not to completely ban plastics, that would be impossible and in fact some plastics play an important part in the modern world. The idea is to reduce waste of any kind, try to be less of a throw away society and choose products that use less single use packaging in particular single use plastics.
"If everyone makes a small change, together we can make a huge difference"
NINE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TODAY
SAY NO TO STRAWS
Say no to plastic cutlery or straws.
These products are so harmful, just say no to using them. In fact why not encourage your local restaurants and pubs to stop providing them.
STOP CHEWING GUM
Stop chewing gum
It contains plastic – nothing more to say here!!
PICK UP LITTER
Especially near beaches, waterways and shorelines. Make sure you collect as much as you can and take it to a recycling centre. Some beach cafes have started offering free coffee for those taking part.
REDUCE FOOD PACKAGING
Avoid excessive food packaging- Its incredible so see how much packaging goes in to food products. loose fruit and veg is often cheaper than pre-packaged alternatives!
Recycle- If there is no way of avoiding using plastic, choose biodegradable products or find out if they can be recycled
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES
Carry a reusable water bottle.
Did you know there are now apps to show you where you can refill your water bottle?
REUSABLE COFFEE CUPS
Carry a reusable coffee cup.
Many companies are now coming on board with this and will welcome you bringing your own coffee cup. At the moment less than 1 in 400 are recycled.
REUSEABLE SHOPPING BAGS
Carry a canvas bag for shopping - There are some great canvas bags on the market now, why not treat yourself. You can look stylish whilst helping the ocean