What can you do to limit Ocean plastics

07/05/21 | By Gavin Lee Davies, Mr
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What can you do to help limit ocean plastics?

From Finding Sustainability by Trent A.Romer

Finding Sustainability

Drake’s Island is tucked between Wells and Kennebunkport on southern coast of Maine. At high tide, the inlets, and surrounding tributaries backfill the waterways to isolate the land mass .At low tide, the island feels like part of the mainland.

Tourists are often unaware of its existence as the turn off route 1 is not clearly marked. A section of the road from the mainland to the island stretches across a low bridge traversing the protected tidal marshes that fill with water twice a day. Drakes Island beach extends the length of the eastern side of the island.

Soft white sand dominates at high tide.Low tide exposes darkened packed sand, sea glass, tide pools and crabs looking for a place to hide. Relief from the sun is easily found in the cold 65 degree waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Waves provide ample size for play and soothing sound as they crash on shore. The smell of the ocean is inescapable in the wake of an onshore wind.

My family along with close friends travelled to Drakes Island beach for 12 years running when our kids were young. The beach served as a place to re-kindle relationships, create new memories, and reset what was important in life.As the day wore on, the beach emptied. We often stayed until dark when the ocean became more mysterious, more meditative and more magnetic to my soul.

The ocean has always been a favourite destination. Protecting it in the wake of the plastic pollution crises came to the forefront of my professional life in 2018. Learning that 8,000,000 tons of plastic enter the oceans each year and that plastic production is expected to double in the next 20 years, I had to do something about it.

Finding Sustainability

As a 3rd generation owner of a plastic bag manufacturing company, I was in a position to help. My 18 month journey to sustainability has led me to multiple educational places and adventures in nature. From those, I found 6 general things that we all can do to help the ocean plastic problem.

  • Use less.If a bag or package is not needed, don’t use one.
  • If a package is needed, look for compostable materials or recycled content plastics. Compostable materials are certified to fully degrade given the proper conditions. Recycled content materials use waste from the consumer waste stream and creates new packages. The more recycled plastic we use, the higher the demand for recycled plastics will be. More recyclers will have incentive to collect and sort plastics to fulfil the newfound demand.
  • Participate in a cleanup effort. I take part in the annual Hudson River event. Volunteers organize in 100 plus locations from New York City to the Adirondack Mountains to cleanup debris in and around the river.
  • Learn about and support recycling and composting infrastructure. As the infrastructure to handle waste improves, more waste can be turned into a feedstock for growth, for another use or product. The circular flow of materials keeps material in the economy and out of the natural environment.
  • Take as much time in disposal as buying. There is no such thing as throwing something “away". Everything goes somewhere. Finding the right place to dispose of something gives it a better chance to stay in the economy and avoid the landfill or natural environment. End-of-life labelling is found on more and more packages to help inform of the best means of disposal.
  • Don’t be paralyzed by the enormity of the problem. Each positive act is important. Learn, gain feedback and act. This cycle continues to move us in a more sustainable direction.

We have changed our plastic bag manufacturing business to help address the above. The list will evolve as I pursue more educational opportunities and adventures in nature.

We can all help make a difference.

Author and business owner Trent A. Romer has moved his plastic bag manufacturing company Clear View Bag Co., Inc (www.clearviewbag.com) in a more sustainable direction through a new vision of Healthy Planet, Healthy People, Healthy Company.

His book Finding Sustainability details his journey to ultimately find sustainability in multiple places. Visit www.trentromer.com for pictures and details about the book.

Finding Sustainability

Finding Sustainability

Journey to 8 states, 3 national parks and 3 countries to experience the life-changing education that led Trent A. Romer to finding sustainability for his plastic bag manufacturing business and himself.

What if the foundation of your family business were threatened by something out of your control? What if the livelihood of 70 employees and their families were at stake, as the license to operate your business became called into question? What if 57 years of family history, grown through generations of hard work and sacrifice, were at risk of being lost? What if the reasons were actually one with which you fundamentally agreed?

Journey to 8 states, 3 national parks and 3 countries to experience the life-changing education and adventures that led Trent A. Romer to finding sustainability for his plastic bag manufacturing business and himself.

Finding Sustainability is available from wherever books are sold and available from and www.johnhuntpublishing.com/business-books

Read Finding Sustainability

Finding Sustainability

Finding Sustainability

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