Yep, you read the heading correctly! Today is World Plastic Bag Free Day!! We’re pretty big supporters of the plastic bag ban since Ilah began her mission to save the turtles. This month is all about going plastic free. And after our recent adventures to the northernmost point of Australia, we are now, more than ever, 100% behind the push to remove single-use plastic from the world.
In an area of Australia where the population is less than 2400 people (which is approximately 2.2 people per square kilometre), we picked up almost 200 plastic bottle lids in an area of beach no bigger than 5 square metres!! Not only did we find hundreds of bottle lids, but we found toothbrushes, plastic bottles, thongs, plastic containers, a sieve and pretty much anything and everything plastic washed up on the beach.
It was disheartening, to say the least! The majority of the rubbish we saw on the beach was not from the local community. Instead, it had washed up from along on the ocean currents or from the wake of passing ships. We filled up with as much rubbish as we could carry. But, it was a very tiny dent in a very large problem.
North Queensland is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles. And this is the mess we have created in their breeding and feeding grounds. Just because we can’t see the problem in our own backyards and beaches, does not mean that plastic is not a major environmental concern. All of this rubbish breaks down and ends up back in our food chain. Eventually, finding its way into the stomachs of birds, fish, turtles and even us humans.
So what can you do to help? Well, the best way to start is by refusing a plastic bag next time you’re at the supermarket or shops. Take your own shopping bags. Or better yet, buy one of Ilah’s Save the Turtle bags and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to turtle protection programs. Look at other ways you can cut down on your environmental impact. For a few of our tips and tricks check out our World Environment Day blog post or Ilah’s Tips to save the turtles.
There is no time like the present to make a change that will have a lasting impact on our environment. Every small change in our purchasing and consumption habits will create less waste. So, say no to the bag at the grocery store. Choose a glass jar that is reusable or recyclable. Put fruit and vegetables in a reusable bag. It all helps. And the turtles will thank you for saving their home.