7 Jun 2021 //

Drowning in Plastic: What We Can Do to Stop This

The incidence of animals eating plastic can happen a lot in the deep ocean because a lot of plastic waste has been floating in the ocean. No wonder many marine animals then die because of consuming the plastic waste.

Plastic waste has been accumulating rapidly in the oceans. It roughly doubles in every decade. In 2014, a global analysis estimated plastic in the oceans at a quarter of a billion metric tons, the size of rice particles.

Meanwhile, more than 200 animal species have been recorded eating plastic, including turtles, whales, seals, birds and fish. Seabirds are the animals most at risk. In fact, according to a study published by Australian researchers, almost all seabirds already consume plastic.

Jenna R. Jambeck through her research published in the Journal of Science in 2015 stated that Indonesia is ranked second out of 192 countries as a contributor to plastic waste to the ocean. Our total plastic waste is 1.29 million tons/year after China is in first place with a total waste of 3.53 million tons/year.

Hmm, it’s time for us to do something to reduce the high amount of garbage in the world. We can start contributing well to the Earth from simple things at home. What can we do?


1. You can bring a drinking bottle that can be used repeatedly

When you go outside and bring your own water bottle, it might feel a little inconvenient at first but it turns out there are many benefits! In addition to reducing the use of bottled drinking water, it saves money and is definitely healthier because you drink lots of water!

2. Get used to carrying your own shopping bag

Using your own shopping bag when shopping will reduce the use of single-use plastic bags. Especially when we shop at supermarkets where most of the food ingredients are wrapped in plastic. For some wet food ingredients such as meat, fish, tofu and others, you can also bring the container directly from home.

3. Get used to reducing the use of disposable cutlery

This does not only apply when buying food and drinks for delivery, but also when eating out and using disposable cutlery. Starting from paper or plastic plates/bowls, plastic spoons and forks to plastic straws. If you can bring a container for take away, that’s even better!

4. If you like to shop online, you can ask to reduce the plastic wrap too

Online shopping is a hobby of many people. It has more variety of goods and can be sent directly to the office or home. However, there is usually heaps of plastic wrapping during shipment. Therefore, you can tell the seller to reduce the use of plastic wrap or you can directly choose to shop at online stores that provide plastic-free packaging!

5. Let’s recycle!

We can first sort out the plastic packaging that you can reuse. If you have collected plastic wrap that cannot be reused, try looking at the bottom of the plastic packaging. If it says 1(PET), then the plastic packaging can be accepted by the recycling company. Then, take a minute to find a recycling company near you.


Jenna R. Jambeck, Roland Geyer, Chris Wilcox, Theodore R. Siegler, Miriam Perryman, Anthony Andrady, Ramani Narayan, Kara Lavender Law. Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science 2015;347(6223):768-771