Wonder Wave: 
Plastic Alternatives


Reduce the use

Ways to reduce pollution on our planet

Approximately 500 million tonnes of plastic is produced globally each year, and The United Nations Environment Programme estimates there could be as many as 51 trillion microplastic particles in the oceans already. So you might be asking: why is plastic so harmful to our oceans? Well, plastic disrupts the bio-Geo cycle, causing problems affecting the entire marine life and ecosystem. one of these problems is the consumption of plastic by marine creatures. Scientists have estimated that around 60 - 70% of seabirds have consumed plastic, and have predicted that this number will rise to 99% by 2050. But YOU can help! Here are some ways in which you can help the endangered ecosystems of the oceans:


Reusable straws and cutlery

One way to reduce pollution

How do plastic straws and cutlery affect ocean wildlife?
Although on time use straws and cutlery are a convenient alternative to the real thing, they come with an environmental cost. When these amounts of plastic are disposed of into the sea, Many marine animals mistake it for food, and they eat them, exposing them to toxic chemicals that are contained in the plastic. This has resulted in plastic being found in 70% of seabirds and 30% of all turtles. Since most plastics are not biodegradable, they do not break down, and are left for decades, causing harm to marine animals and their habitat. plastic straws (and other plastic items) break into smaller and smaller particles, releasing chemicals into the soil, air, and water that are harmful to both people and the environment, but most of all, the marine animals. This is because most plastic ends up in the ocean, for reasons such as beach littering or strong winds transporting lightweight plastic items from trash cans or large facilities. This leaves the plastic to slowly break down into microscopic pieces, which makes it even easier for animals to accidentally ingest it. An easy way to minimize the amount of plastic usage is to replace plastic straws with either stainless steel straws or biodegradable ones. As for cutlery, there are many options out there, some of which are bamboo/wooden or metal cutlery.


Avoid single use bottles

Using reusable bottles helps the environment  in many ways:

  • By using reusable bottles, less plastic is used, and less plastic ends up polluting the environment. 

  • In 2021, it is predicted that 583.3 billion water bottles will be sold in the course of the year. This is a large increase from 2016, in which 480 billion bottles were sold.

  •   What is ironic is that it is estimated that it takes twice as much water to make a plastic bottle as the amount of water that can be contained in it. The majority of bottled water also comes from places that are suffering from lack of water, which contributes to the water shortage in this area. 

  • So why contribute to all this pollution when you can avoid it by using something as simple as a reusable bottle? 


Avoid using products containing microbeads

Microbeads can be found in hygiene products such as toothpaste, face and body wash and exfoliating products. They are microscopic pieces of plastic, about the same size as a grain of sand, although they are sometimes bigger. These small pieces of plastic have a sneaky way of making their way up the food chain, because after they are washed down your bathroom drain, they are too small to be filtered out in the sewer system. This means they are deposited into the oceans and rivers, polluting the environment and animals consuming them. When a marine animal has ingested the microbeads, it is not only damaging to the animal itself, but also if another animal preys on it, it also consumes the microplastic.


Christine Frolich

Plastic Alternatives Adviser

Christine researched how we can daily be sustainable.

"Wave Goodbye To Plastic"