By Alondra Yenyete
As we begin to fill the beaches to enjoy the summer days ahead of us, it’s important to remember that our trash is in fact not one man’s treasure, but another sea life’s impairment.
It’s no secret that New York beaches are not the cleanest and that our waters are not the clearest, but it is not an excuse to allow your garbage to litter the waters where ocean life is depleting at an alarming rate. Watching scientist pull a plastic straw from the nostril of an olive ridley sea turtle, I immediately felt a wave of guilt as this unsuspecting animal suffered due to a useless plastic straw that found its way into the ocean. It only deepens the concern for the other countless animals who aren’t as lucky as this sea turtle was to receive medical attention.
The truth is that the impact of plastic in the oceans is beginning to emerge, as marine life becomes trapped in sea litter and microplastics. Scientists have found that creatures at the bottom of the food chain are ingesting plastics floating on the surface of the ocean.
At this rate, it is predicted that the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Each year eight million tonnes of plastic leaks into the ocean, which is equivalent to emptying one garbage truck into the ocean every minute, according to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation. If no immediate action is taken it will increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050.
So when Lush Cosmetics announced their partnership with materials manufacturer Urban Resource Group (URG) to turn plastic waste sourced from the ocean into cosmetic containers, It was a relief knowing that this company is taking the steps necessary to help the environment. Lush collected nearly 25 tons of plastic from the ocean in six months from the shores of Vancouver Island in Canada, with the help of the environmental group Ocean Legacy Foundation.
Lush will be using the containers that URG was able to repurpose into eco-friendly packaging. “We are keen to be pushing the frontiers of material recovery and recycling with leaders like Lush,” URG’s senior executive Mark Badgers said. As Lush takes the steps into giving us eco-friendly packaging, it is a hopeful sign that more cosmetic brands will join in on the efforts to decrease the waste that is being put into our environment daily.