One of the most serious hazards that pollutes lakes, rivers and oceans is the careless disposal of plastic debris: plastic bags, six-pack rings, fishing line and food wrappings. Many people don't realize how hazardous this trash can be. Here are five steps that you can take to keep plastics out of the water:
- On your boat, stow plastic trash and old fishing gear for proper disposal on land. Secure trash bags to a fixture on the boat (so that they are not accidentally washed overboard), and make sure all trash finds its way there. Dispose of trash at the dock.
- Use reusable items such as washable dinnerware to minimize the amount of plastic waste that you generate.
- Dispose of old fishing line properly. Lost line can be lethal to fish, sea turtles, birds and other marine animals.
- Clean up after picnics and beach outings. Dispose of all waste in trash recepticles to prevent debris, especially plastics, from blowing into the water from the beach.
- Break or cut the loops of plastic six-pack rings before disposing of them to ensure that if the ring blows into the water, it will not entangle an animal.