10 July 2018 - “I recalled the moment when I went snorkeling off the ocean of Menjangan Island. It was one beautiful day spent with love and delight – weightless body floating above the deep blue sea, admiring the colorful habitants of an unfamiliar world. Schooling marine fish moved their way out of me, concealing themselves amidst the dancing corals. The cooling water started to tickle and I lifted my head up. Someone from the boat waved her hand.”
“I swam back and drifted slowly into the boat. There was a change of atmosphere – the water got murky, sent me an unpleasant feeling until my eyes spotted a plastic cup of mineral water. I reached the cup with no hesitation, mumbled to myself as the wave sent another cup… left me jittery, yet at the same time felt obliged to participate in this never-ending conversation on how to save the planet...”
As much as we remember our friend’s tale about her encounter with plastics in the vast blue sea, we also shall not forget the footage shared by British diver Richard Horner. This March he streamed into the blizzard of plastic pollution in Nusa Penida, causing a stir at foreign media landscape which highlighted Indonesia’s inability to tackle plastic waste. After being investigated, the local government claimed that it was only seasonal that the debris was brought up from Java due to the monsoon.
Nevertheless, plastic waste is a real serious problem as the UN estimates that by 2050 oceans will carry more plastic than fish after our constant single use of plastic bottles, bags and cups. Surely it demands every stakeholder to combat this crisis especially in Indonesia, where the rivers rank among the 20 most polluted in the world according to the journal Nature Communications. This makes our country the second-largest contributor to marine plastic pollution after China.
To join the global conversation, Seasalt applies “no straws” rule considering the ubiquity of the plastic straw usage that is harmful to the ocean. We understand that “no straws” policy may not be applicable for everyone such as seniors or little guests, therefore if you ask for one – we will do our best to attend to your need, in a sustainable way.
Now, let’s study why plastic straws are best to be kept away.
- Single use straws are usually made of plastics and even biodegradable plastics never completely biodegrade unless in required conditions, such as the temperature needs to be 50 degrees Celsius – a hard to meet in the oceanic environment
- Straws are frequently littered. Data from Ocean Conservancy’s TIDES system shows us that straws/stirrers are the 11th most found ocean trash in cleanups as of early 2018. If we do a flashback to 2015, there was a viral video of a researcher removing a plastic straw embedded into the nostril of an Olive Ridley sea turtle. This has to stop.
Making an informed decision about our environment requires a lot of hard work and commitment, but the advantage is a long-term. So, join us in the movement!