On March 16th begins the 23rd edition of Ocean Initiatives organized by Surfrider Foundation Europe. Since 1995, the first spring weekend marks the beginning of waste collection on beaches and near lakes and rivers worldwide. Today this action is quintessential.
In fact, every year, no less than 8 million tonnes of waste from humans end up in oceans and about a million birds and 100 000 turtles die after ingesting or after being tangled in plastic wastes. Plastic production is in constant evolution and went from 1,5 in 1950 to 322 million tonnes in 2015. After the 1997 discovery of a seventh continent made of waste in the Pacific Ocean and named Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a recent study announces there will be more waste than fish in the ocean in 2050.
Here is an example in video where a marine turtle has a straw stuck in her nose after most likely having inspected the seabed for food. Fortunately, a researcher team was around and was able to help with little material. Be careful, the images can be hard to watch. In the end, the turtle was taken care of and was brought back to the sea. To see the video, click on the link here. (french)
Ocean Initiatives aims to ensure there are more public awareness on the presence and origin of waste in nature as well as on the consequences of their presence on fauna, flora and our health.
Do not hesitate to take part in a collect organized near you, otherwise Surfrider gives you all the information as well as the required material to organize your collect.
To find or organize a collect, click HERE.
To go further in protecting oceans
Created in 1990, Surfrider Foundation Europe also take action in favor of the protection of oceans and aquatic waste reduction. The website gives many useful tools and information to take real action. You can participate to other programs and campaigns of the association:
Keepers of the coast: you witness pollution, a project harmful for the littoral, environment or your health, do not hesitate to testify, Surfrider will support you in resolving this problem.
To take part in this campaign, click HERE.
Ban the ban: this campaign will give you access to a charter for a 100% trae without plastic bags. With this charter, you can try to convince local vendors to sign it and send it back to the association. You will be able to register your vendor on the list of committed retail points. A form is available to invite Surfrider to request from your town to join the European network of committed owns against single-use plastic bags.
To take part in this campaign, click HERE
500 billion of plastic bags are used worldwide every year. Even though they can be recycled, they are not biodegradable and are a real scourge for the environment and biodiversity.
Ocean Campus : the association gives access to numerous resources in the form of courses, quizzes, videos and infographics on several topics related to oceans and sustainable development. For teachers, collectivities or professionals, visioconferences training are available.
To learn more on oceans and their threats, click HERE
Read and sign petitions: to make your voice heard, click HERE
Join the association or a local branch and participate in several campaigns (awareness, campaigns or events organization, etc.). Local branches are present in 14 countries.
To find the nearest local branch, click HERE
80% of waste in the oceans come from the mainland. We are the origin of aquatic pollution. Being respectful of the environment and not leaving waste in nature is a first step, but reducing our waste is also important. Many simple eco-friendly moves can be set up in your everyday life.
Surfrider also gives several tips to reduce your waste HERE
If you want to go further and head towards zero waste, you can find many answers to your questions with Béa Johnson and her book Zero Waste Home.