• Brooke Donoghue

Plastic- Not So Fantastic

The more I find out about the horrific effect single use plastic is having on our environment, the more I get angry that we are not doing more to resolve the problem. Once you know there is a problem – you will be shocked at how many single use plastic items are consumed every day.

To better explain what I mean, here are a few facts that have stunned me

(Or if you don't care about turtles skip this part)

· Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century

· 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away

· Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth 4 times.

· Only 5% of the plastics we produce is recovered

· The production of plastic uses around eight percent of the world's oil production

· It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade

· Tonnes of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in the oceans making up about 40 percent of the world's ocean surfaces. 80 percent of pollution enters the ocean from the land

· 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies

· Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body— up to 96% of adults test positive for BPA in their bodies

· Some of these compounds found in plastic have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects

Sometimes it seems hard to escape from plastic. I bet the majority of things around you right now are made from an element of plastic. It also may seem that the problem is too big for one person to solve. But really every small change will make will make a huge difference in the long run.

Convenience is the root of our single use plastic problem. It has made life so easy that people are not prepared to do things differently now. But it really is simple. Adopting change in a few areas will make you realize how easy it is to be a more conscious consumer. I’m not saying we all have to be perfect, but making a little effort to be better will make you realize how change isn't so hard and we can start to fight this battle.

Being a rower – someone who relies on the environment - I think it is very important to be a conscious consumer. Simple changes like opting not to have a straw in drinks, using reusable drink bottles and recycling the plastic we do use and making sure all rubbish is disposed of appropriately will make a big change to help battle this problem.

I stoked you have made it this far down my post... I have got an ulterior motive to this topic... And will be stoked if you can help me with my wee problem.

The reason I have bought this up on this blog is that currently the OarGo 2.0 is being manufactured out of plastic- which is not the end material I want. So.. this post is a bit of an appeal to help us find a better solution. I would be very interested to hear from anyone with ideas on better alternatives to plastic. (I have tired sheets of wood but they do not quite fit the brief either).

Finally here are a few ideas to help us rise up against the plastic problem.

· Finding better alternatives to plastic products. There are more and more products on the market that are awesome for reducing the need for plastic products. (A few I have swapped out are deodorant, glad wrap, coffee cups, shopping bags)

· Say no to plastic straws, cups, containers ETC

· If you must use plastic – recycle it

· Pick up rubbish (anywhere and everywhere)

· Vote with your money. Choose to spend your money on items that are environmentally conscious. If there is more of a demand for these products they will soon outshine the conventional products

Most importantly.. SPREAD THE WORD. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to reduce plastic in our lives and the nasty impacts of plastic pollution.

OarGo 2.0


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