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How else can we prevent marine debris?

You might be familiar with “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle,” but what about other ways to prevent trash from becoming marine debris?

Recycling can be a good way to keep some plastics out of landfills, but unfortunately this process is not available or effective everywhere. In fact, only around 9% of plastic materials are effectively recycled each year. Many can be lost or contaminated in the waste stream, which means they are ultimately thrown away. Instead of depending on solutions, like recycling, that deal with products at the end of their life to stop marine debris, we should reduce waste at its source.

  • Rethink your choices, for example, choose to purchase or use non-plastic items wherever possible, or ask yourself if you really need the items you are purchasing.

  • Try refurbishing or repairing old items before throwing them away or replacing them with new ones.

  • Creatively repurpose items like jars or other containers to turn them into bird feeders, planters, or pencil cups.

  • You can also reduce food waste by “rotting” or turning it into compost!

By starting with small changes and working together, everyone can help prevent marine debris!

The list of 8Rs

Why be limited to 4 R’s? There are many ways you can prevent marine debris! (Credit: Center for Great Lakes Literacy.) View and print this infographic and see the description below.

Infographic Description

The 8 R's:

  1. Rethink your choices
  2. Refuse single use items
  3. Reduce consumption
  4. Reuse everything
  5. Refurbish old stuff
  6. Repair before you replace
  7. Repurpose and be creative
  8. Recycle last option

Key Takeaway: There are many ways to prevent marine debris!