Marine life
11th Nov 2021

Did you know?

According to studies, at least 100 million marine mammals are killed each year as a result of plastic waste. This devastating study is one of the reasons why Uzwelo Bags have dedicated a limited edition bag range to these endangered marine species. These colourful, hand sketched bags showcase some of the marine species that are most effected by our plastic waste. Uzwelo’s marine bags are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. The very same bottles that could’ve made their way into the ocean and ultimately put these marine species at risk, were redirected and made into reusable and sustainable rPET fabric. Institutions that are responsible for converting this plastic waste, are working tirelessly to find alternative applications for recycled single use plastics. These developments have created opportunities to develop new and exciting sustainable raw materials manufacturers much like ourselves. One of these raw materials which we at Uzwelo make use of, is the rPET Stitchbond fabric. An extremely durable and lightweight fabric made from recycled PET plastic coldrink bottles (Coke, Sprite and Stoney). We all know how devastating the impact of plastic has on our environment, with some of the biggest threats to marine life and subsequent deaths being plastic straws, bottles and shopping bags. According to the Two Oceans Aquarium, there are approximately 15 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean right now – plastic that has been carelessly discarded by human negligence and poor waste management, now threatens not just marine life but human life as well.

What is the solution?

Making use of already out-of-control landfills and hazardous waste management solutions such as burning, are creating one environmental hazard while trying to control another. Simple as it may sound, recycling and reusing the plastic materials and waste currently in circulation, is the most effective course of action available to aid in reducing this environmental disaster. Recycle – More places are providing people with sustainable waste management solutions than ever before. Whether it’s recycling projects in the workplace and public areas, retailers offering freebies in exchange for litter picked up off the beach or even recycling at home, we as individuals have to make the conscious effort to change our behaviour and utilise these opportunities to curb the spread of this plastic virus. Say no to single-use plastic – Now, it’s near impossible to completely do away with plastic altogether however, what is encouraging to see are establishments moving away from single use plastics and opting for more sustainable solutions. Reusable shopping bags, produce bags, sustainable straws and even alternative food packaging solutions, all of which aids in reducing our overall plastic consumption and help save our marine species and environment. Shop these products Marine mammals: 54% of all whales, dolphins and seals are impacted by plastic. NOAA estimates that 100 000 marine mammals are killed by plastic each year. Fish: 114 species of marine fish are known to regularly be entangled in or ingest plastic. At least 1 million fish are killed this way each year. Birds: Two-thirds of all seabird species are affected, representing 56% of all seabird species. Coral: Several coral species have been observed starving as their digestive systems have been blocked by microplastic or their photosynthetic zooxanthellae were killed by being shaded by plastic. Reference: