World Oceans Day: Save Our Seas, Join These Local Efforts
STORY: Priyanka Elhence
07 June 2021
While we are increasingly becoming more aware of the approximate 14 billion pounds of plastic pollution in our oceans and beaches, it is also true that plastic usage has shot up tremendously with Covid-related trash such as masks, gloves, syringes, whole PPE kits, etc.
Current estimated figures stand at almost 16% of additional plastic waste. As we celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8th 2021 to raise further awareness about our precious water bodies, there are some local organisations who are already proactively doing their best to save our seas.
Here are 4 organisations that you can help with:
1. Take part in a beach clean up
On a mission to preserve the marine environment by removing plastic waste for good, Seven Clean Seas have already pulled out 131,863kgs of plastic from the ocean since the organisation was founded in 2018. The company has invested in ocean clean-up operations, remote island infrastructure and innovative technology to help clean, conserve and educate the masses about the threats to oceans.
Seven Clean Seas has also developed the world's first plastic-offsetting service, working with companies to pull plastic out of the ocean on their behalf to neutralise the impact they make on the planet and seas. Remember the amazing Planet or Plastic Exhibition at Marina Bay Sands last year? Seven Seas are also Museum Ambassadors at the ArtScience Museum, using their exhibition as a way to raise awareness by visually depicting the ongoing plastic crisis. Every little bit counts. Sign up for one of their regular beach clean ups and help make a difference.
2. Go scuba diving to pick up marine trash
Oceans absorb as much as 40 percent of all human-produced carbon dioxide, and plastic waste is increasingly believed to disrupt the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide. Furthermore, marine debris not only has a detrimental impact on our marine ecosystem and life, it is also potentially hazardous to navigational safety in our busy port waters.
Our Singapore Reefs is a non-profit group that aims to protect local coral reefs from marine trash and improve health of Singapore's coral reefs through regular outreach events and marine clean up diving excursions. In fact, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Our Singapore Reefs (OSR) have embarked on a three-year collaboration to promote World Ocean’s Day and the importance of Singapore’s marine biodiversity, organising annual underwater clean-up activities and public outreach events through the partnership. For instance, in 2018, Our Singapore Reefs removed 3,439 pieces of marine debris (approximately 704kg) from around Sisters’ Island Marine Park and Lazarus Island.
3. Eliminate excessive plastic use and reduce beach trash
According to the good folks behind The Sustainability Project, Plastic is the most common type of marine debris in Singapore, making up a whopping 57%. Singapore relies significantly on its marine resources and marine ecosystems to provide food. Which means that marine plastic pollution and accumulation of plastics on our shores are very likely to increasingly enter our food chain. We all know there is a ton of plastic pollution in and around our oceans, but have you ever stopped to consider where all that plastic waste came from in the first place? Us. Without changes in our consumption habits, plastic pollutants will increasingly affect our surroundings because unfortunately, marine plastic pollution is regarded as an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ issue for someone else to solve.
4. Support the wider marine conservation efforts
Seastainable Co. is a social business that supports marine and environmental conservation and sustainability in Singapore and around Southeast Asia by encouraging individuals to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, and be increasingly aware of their impact on the environment. The company’s main social objectives are to protect our oceans and to support individuals, grassroots organisations, NGOs, and even governments, in generating positive and lasting social impact in local communities across Southeast Asia. For instance, Seastainable.Co encourages sustainable living for individuals by providing sustainable alternatives to everyday disposable items through its online store, sending all profits to organisations making a difference in the marine conservation community. Since their start in 2017, the company has already contributed over $30,000 to more than 33 conservation projects across 5 countries, impacting over 5,200 individuals in local communities.