The term, “packaging waste” refers to any containers, wrappers or packaging that consumers don’t discard properly. Not only do people litter in the streets and on land, they litter in the oceans as well, causing devastating effects to marine life. Marine wildlife either get caught up and strangled in this waste, or ingest it resulting in their demise. The following are some ways to reduce packaging waste in the world’s oceans.

One way to reduce packaging waste in the world’s oceans is to create stronger recycling initiatives. One way to do this is to place more garbage cans and recycling bins on beaches. Many people, especially children are more prone to discarding their waste the minute they unwrap their product, not thinking about looking for a garbage can. However, if there were garbage cans and recycling bins close enough, they might reconsider discarding their trash on the sand, which will inevitably end up in the water. Another way to create stronger recycling initiatives is by putting up posters at beach parking lots, restrooms, eateries, etc. with a catchy slogan reminding people not to litter.

Another way to reduce packaging waste in the world’s oceans is to impose heftier littering and dumping fines, and to actively enforce the laws calling for these fines. Although some states impose hefty fines and even sometimes jail time, if the fines were made even higher, people might not want to take the chance of incurring such an expense.

The final way to reduce packaging waste in the world’s oceans is educate people. People need to know and understand the destructive effects that packaging waste causes in our oceans. We should educate children starting as early as kindergarten and continue through to high school. The more a person knows, the better decisions they will make, and in this case people will learn from an early age that discarding packaging waste in our oceans can be devastating to our oceans.

In conclusion, creating stronger recycling initiatives, imposing heftier littering fines, and educating people starting an early age are some ways to reduce packaging waste in our oceans. It is our duty to preserve the world and its inhabitants for many generations to come. Let’s keep our oceans clean; throw your waste away.

Essay by: Melanie Ingemi
Binghamton University