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Many of us are aware of recent local reports about marine creatures found with stomachs full of plastic waste or entangled in discarded fishing gear etc.  Sadly, there are worldwide examples of hundreds of thousands of marine species injured or dead from ingesting or becoming entangled in our debris.


Similarly, as John Aitchison highlighted in a recent talk in Lochgilphead, microplastics are spreading rapidly through the world’s oceans, including the Arctic and Antarctic, and entering the food chain which ultimately affects each and every one of us.


To prevent this plastic crisis escalating further we must each of us act now!  But how?


There are many ways:


  • Reduce our use of single-use plastics by reusing/recycling and simply avoid buying food and other goods contained in plastic.


  • Beach-cleans.  Yes, we have them occasionally and they do make a difference, but we can all participate individually on a daily basis.  Every time you visit the seashore just pick up a few pieces of plastic and dispose of them in a recycling bin or as safely as possible.  FoSoJ is appealing to locals and visitors alike to undertake regular litter collection anywhere there is access to the shoreline on both sides of the Sound of Jura as well as Loch Sween, Crinan, Loch Craignish etc.  See also the GRAB Trust


  • Boat owners! Be aware of what you are putting in your holding tanks - make sure it is biodegradable.  Also keep a look out for any surface plastic and collect it, if possible, with boat hooks/nets etc, whether in a large yacht, rib or kayak.  We can all help!


  • Lobbying.  Nag, nag, nag! Keep on at governments, local, national and international to force industry and manufacturers to cut down on single use plastic!

Picture credit - L Goodlet

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