The Ocean is the heart of the planet. Water covers more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface. Sea plants, like Posidonia, produce 70% of the oxygen we breathe, and the deep waters are home to wildlife and some of the biggest creatures on earth. Covering 70% of the Earth's surface, the ocean transports heat from the equator to the poles, regulating our climate and weather patterns as well as absorbing 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere.
An estimated 8 million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, resulting in an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste in our oceans today. Of the 269,000 tons of ocean waste, 70% of our debris sinks into the ocean's ecosystem, 15% floats, and 15% lands on our beaches.
World Ocean Day
World Ocean Day was created by and is organized by the World Ocean Youth Advisory Council. This worldwide event is founded and run by a generation that will be directly impacted by the results of climate change and our oceans’ health within their lifetime. The council was created in 2016 with the goal of connecting and uniting our Greta Thunbergs and Boyan Slats of the world to push for a better future and to sustain everyone as a global community, no matter where you live.
What can you do to make a change?
Supporting organizations such as Plastic Oceans Canada helps bring awareness to the issues facing our most crucial resource as well as sponsoring youth across Canada to clean up plastic littering Canadian shorelines. As a supporter of their programs, we encourage our community to take part in their World Oceans Week initiatives by donating and/or educating ourselves through the information they put out on their website and blog on the harm of single-use plastics to make positive changes in your lifestyle. To take it a step further, you could also participate in their shoreline cleanups, which are open to the public and are not excluded to ocean shorelines. They include the shores of rivers and lakes across the country as well as parks, and the plastics and debris collected are responsibly disposed of and recycled.
On a global scale, The Ocean Cleanup (founded by Boyan Slat at the age of 18, who we named our SLAT jacket after) has taken on the task of the biggest cleanup in the world. Through the use of technology with a team of 120 engineers, researchers, scientists, and supporting roles, they are working daily to rid the world of 90% of plastic by the year 2040.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, 300 miles long between the coasts of California and Hawaii
Our Contribution as a Community
As you may have read in our last two articles, The Alchemy of Econyl and Only One Planet, by supporting BEDI you are also supporting ocean health and conservation. The primary material used in our bags and outerwear is ECONYL, made mostly of regenerated fishnets that have been discarded in our seas by the fishing industries, causing ocean pollution and harm to marine life. These nets are pulled out of the ocean by the Healthy Seas Foundation which engages volunteer ghost divers to retrieve them in a way that does not further harm marine life (read more about this process here).
There is still a lot of work to be done, but the success of World Ocean Day’s Youth Action Council, Plastic Oceans Canada and The Ocean Cleanup is truly inspiring. We are committed to working towards a better future for our planet, which means working towards cleaning up our oceans and keeping them free of harmful plastics and chemicals.
As the youth of World Ocean Day say, we have one blue ocean on one blue planet that connects us all. What can you do on your part to protect it?