The easiest way to stop plastic waste polluting our oceans is to prevent it ever reaching the water in the first place. As individuals it’s important that we take some personal responsibility, whether that be recycling or picking up litter at your local beach. You can check out some great tips on what you can do here https://sailingtunas.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/reduce-reuse-revive-our-oceans/
However, major producers of plastic packaging still need to do more. Producers need to create packaging that is 100% recyclable and help fund the costs of cleaning up their products that are already in our oceans but also keeping them out of the oceans too!
The other day I stumbled across a website and environmental group called “Natural Resources Defence Council” or NRDC for short. Their mission statement is to “work to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.” They have over 2 million members and are one of the largest environmental groups in the USA. I was pleased to read that they are working closely with several US states and the Obama administration.
The NRDC are currently working on 3 important strategies to help prevent plastic pollution. In the US many states hold plastic producers accountable for recovering and recycling their products, however the NRDC believes building a coalition, consisting of waste management, businesses and environmental groups will help create measures to stop plastic at the very source. By making incentives for plastic producers to use less plastic and more environmentally friendly packaging also ensuring that the recycling actually takes place. Recycling also creates job opportunities, so it’s a win win situation for the community and the environment.
NRDC are collaborating with ocean and waste experts, who are in turn working directly with several major international agencies such as the UN environmental program. They are hoping to create international guidelines for preventing plastic pollution and bringing more international leaders and government organisations together to help tackle ocean pollution together.
Reducing plastic pollution is at the top of the NRDC agenda; they help control the amount of litter in the world oceans by pushing for legal legislation and working closely with other charities. Creating partners with other charities creates a more unified voice for the issues at hand.
The NRDC are one of many organisations looking to put pressure on companies at the international stage. You can read more about the NRDC here and how they are helping to reduce plastic in the ocean and many other environmental challenges they are trying to tackle, here.