Small business environmental initiatives that could help prevent marine pollution

By: Samayeeta Maitra

Volunteers from British Divers Marine Life Rescue and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network were dispatched to a gray seal that had died as a result of severe entanglement in thirty-five kg of material on the 27th of May, 2019. The images that were presented were disturbing and devastating. This, however, was not a new occurrence. Plastic pollution kills one marine creature or sea bird every thirty seconds. Scientists concluded in a recent study that corals that come into contact with plastic have an eighty nine probability of developing disease, compared to a four percent chance for corals that do not. We owe so much to the oceans, but they are constantly threatened by natural and man-made pollution. Ocean pollution takes numerous forms, but plastic is the most significant issue damaging it. It is predicted that by 2050, the weight of ocean plastics will exceed the total weight of all fish in the seas unless immediate action is taken to solve this critical issue.

To reduce microplastic waste from pellets, synthetic textiles, and tyres, businesses must collaborate to redesign products and rethink their usage and disposal. This will necessitate solutions that go beyond waste management and take into account the entire lifecycle of plastic items, from design to infrastructure and home use. Every business must work toward a plastic-free future by offering products that customers may use to replace traditional single-use plastic items or by recycling plastic into something new. There are several eco-friendly and plastic-free business ideas, such as making insulated drinkware with high-tech design features for any drink so it stays at the right temperature wherever you go, or making sustainable kitchenware out of bamboo, such as cutting boards, serving trays, cooking and serving utensils, and compostable single-use dinnerware.

Small businesses can have a surprising amount of environmental impact. It’s up to you, as a small business owner, whether that impact is favorable or harmful. Small business sustainability is becoming more popular among environmentally conscientious companies. The three Rs are incredibly crucial. Most importantly, businesses should make every effort to cut their plastic usage wherever possible. They can use actual glass and ceramic alternatives instead of disposable cups, plates, and cutlery. Employees in the office should be encouraged to print on both sides of the page. Recycling is the next best thing when reducing or reusing isn’t an option. Recycled paper and cardboard are true sustainable packaging solutions. According to a survey conducted by the shipping service Sendle, sixty percent of consumers would be more likely to buy from a retailer that offered compostable packaging.

A small business can launch a promotion to actively support the environment, such as contributing a percentage of profits to environmental programs that assist in preventing marine pollution or organizing a fundraiser to promote eco-conscious activities that minimize the use of plastic. We can produce a clean ocean by identifying and reducing or eliminating pollution sources. An ocean that is healthy and robust, with marine ecosystems that are well-known, protected, restored, and managed and that supports a long-term food supply. An ocean that we should all take care of, with respect. 

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