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Understanding Marine L

Understanding Marine L itter and its impacts GOOD GREEN DEEDS

GOOD GREEN DEEDS South Africa is home to more than 55.6 million people which on average use between 30kg to 50kg of plastic per person per year. Generating more than 1000 tonnes of plastic waste per day, the country is home to three of the 50 largest dumpsites in the world. What is Marine L itter (debris)? Marine litter is any man-made solid material that goes into waterways (directly or indirectly) and ends up in the ocean. These includes items such as cigarette butts, plastic bags, polystyrene cups, glass and cans, etc. Where is it coming from? • Land through storm water drains and rivers. • Beach users. • Dumping of fishing gear eg nets and ropes. • Illegal direct dumping of domestic and industrial waste. • Bins that are not properly covered What are the impacts of Marine L itter? Ho w long does marine litter take to decompose? GOOD GREEN DEEDS • Entangled marine animals die from fishing line and nets. • Birds, fish and mammals ingest plastic and other marine debris and die from malnutrition. • Broken glass and sharp metals endanger health of beach visitors. • Debris on the beach makes our coasts less attractive to visitors and leads to a decrease in tourism profit and recreational business. • Debris causes damage to vessels through collision and entanglement in propeller blades. • Plastic debris acts as a sponge for toxic chemical such as PCBs and DDT Parking and paper bus tickets........................................2-4 weeks Orange and Banana peel.................................................up to 4 weeks Cigarette butts...........................................................................1-5 years Ho w Plastic long does bags.................................................................................10-20 marine litter take to decompose? years Plastic bottles............................................................................450 years Parking Parking and paper and bus paper tickets........................................2-4 bus weeks weeks Aluminium cans.....................................................................200-500 years Orange Orange and Banana and Banana peel.................................................up to 4 weeks to 4 weeks Glass bottles .............................................................................1 million years Cigarette Cigarette butts...........................................................................1-5 years years Ho w serious is the issue? Plastic Plastic bags.................................................................................10-20 years years Plastic Plastic bottles............................................................................450 years years Aluminium Aluminium cans.....................................................................200-500 years years Glass bottles Glass bottles .............................................................................1 million million years years Micro-plastics can bio-accumulate in the food chain and affect our health. Ho w serious is the issue? 1 million birds are killed by marine litter every year. What can we do? • Proper waste management. GOOD GREEN DEEDS • Cut back on the amount of waste you produce at home and at work. • Recycle as much of your waste as you can. • Opt for reusable items instead of single-use products. • Join local efforts to pick up waste. • Make use of bins provided for litter and waste. • Don’t discard any fishing gear while fishing. • Make sure all bins are properly closed to avoid wind blowing off your waste. • Don’t buy cosmetic products with plastic microbeads as they could bio-accumulate in the food chain. • Call your local municipality or 086 111 2468 or 0800 205 005 to report dumping and pollution matters. 100 Micro-plastics 000 turtles can and bio-accumulate mammals are killed in the by food plastics. chain and affect our health. 1 million birds are killed by marine 6 million tonnes of plastic enter litter every year. our oceans every year. 100 000 turtles and mammals are killed by plastics. 6 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans every year.

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