You use something and throw it away. It’s out of your sight, out of your mind, and you move on with your day. But if it was made from a material that doesn’t biodegrade or break down into the Earth, that piece of trash likely still exists.
Quite often, litter ends up in the ocean and becomes marine debris. Ideally, we end waste entirely. But until then, let’s take a look into the top ten items that become ocean waste and what you can do to eliminate them.
Cigarette butts (the most common littered item in the world)
Cigarette butts are the most commonly littered item in the world, including in the oceans. As with all trash, the best way to eliminate this is to not use it at all. The second best option is to stop tossing these items onto the ground.
Single-use plastic bags are used at shops and stores around the world. While some places have started charging to encourage reusable bags, these are still commonly littered.
There are a plethora of amazing reusable bag options, including tote bags, and most stores will sell these to you directly. When it comes to produce, you can use a cotton mesh reusable produce bag.
Food delivery is at an all-time high, and particularly in cities, it is very common to get your food in a single-use to-go container. A great way to reduce this is to request your food be packaged up in your very own stainless steel container.
Plastic Water Bottles
Littered plastic water bottles cover land and oceans worldwide. Reusable water bottles are one of the most common ways people are already reducing the amount of waste created. One of the best is 1% For The Planet supporter Klean Kanteen.
Keeping your teeth clean is important for your wellness. Instead of a plastic toothbrush, try a biodegradable bamboo one.
Drinks are a very commonly trashed item because once you drink them, they’re done. The best way to reduce glass bottle waste is to recycle or upcycle these items. Try to keep your bottle and turn it into a vase or a pencil holder!
Thanks to COVID-19, single-use face masks are used by billions. Instead of using these once and contributing to marine litter, choose a reusable face mask instead.
Like plastic and glass bottles, metal cans are found in almost every pile of litter. These can also be recycled, or try carefully cutting off the top and turning them into a candle.
- Many pieces of ocean litter are related to food and drinks, particularly to-go items.
- Reusable and sustainable alternatives are great but not as good as eliminating the need for using anything.
- Even small personal changes can add up to a lot throughout your life.