The ocean has somewhat become a way of life for a large proportion of Australians, boasting some of the best beaches and profoundly unique reef systems in the world. Our happy go lucky attitude and laid back lifestyle is a direct reflection of this epic bond we share with the ocean. Perhaps this free loving demeanour has blinded us to what is really going on beneath the big blue.
We humans are a destructive bunch with over 80% of waste that ends up in the ocean being generated on land. Lurking in the ocean is a non-biodegradable and silent killer! It is estimated that a whopping 268,940 tons of plastic is currently floating in the ocean. To put that in perspective; that is 17,929 trucks, 81 fully loaded Boeing 747’s or 1,300 blue whales. Marine life either eats or becomes tangled in this rouge waste leading to suffocation or starvation. Plastic leaves a lasting imprint, breaking down into small unidentifiable pieces that remain for thousands of years.
These microplastics are less than 5mm in dimension and derive from two main sources. Firstly microbeads, these bad boys are what millions of women across the country rub into their pores daily for exfoliation. They pop up into a number of other cosmetic products, toothpastes and washing powders; all ending up down the drain and into the ocean. Secondly these tiny plastic pieces form from the breakdown of larger plastics such as plastic bags, fibres from polyester clothing, plastic bottles, etc.
These microplastics make themselves at home throughout the entirety of the oceans ecosystem, taking no prisoners. 700 species of marine life have been found to have consumed microplastics, preventing these extraordinary creatures from feeding naturally. Filtering up through the food chain, these plastics appear in more and more organisms. Just as we love the ocean as a way of life we also love it on our plate. With this free passing of microplastics within the marine food chain, the worry is; how long ’til plastics are showing up in your next seafood platter? Well, unfortunately chances are if you like to indulge in seafood you have already ingested micro plastics. While the amount may not be toxic, it is there and at the rate we are going it is only set to increase.
Salubrious Apparel was founded in the beautiful coastal town, Robe. Situated approximately 3.5 hours from Adelaide and 5 hours from Melbourne it is a popular summer destination. Boasting long white sandy beaches, good surf, great fishing, diving spots, snorkelling, paddle boarding…..the list could go on. However with these activities and the inundation of people brings an influx of rubbish and you guessed it, plastic. It is devastating to see a mound of rubbish carelessly left on the beach after a long day of drinking and bbq’ing. Forgotten. Only be washed back into the ocean. It is devastating to walk on the beaches in winter and the white sand be replaced by thousands and thousands of tiny bits of colour. The pops of red, green and blue could look quite spectacular if it was not so depressing. This is only one example of one small town, in the North Pacific there is a rubbish patch the size of an island!
Quite honestly we find it hard to even comprehend. Salubrious Apparel pledges to do what we can to help this cause and raise as much awareness for the preservation of our oceans, marine eco systems and wildlife. Whatever your reasons may be we implore you to get behind us, watch this space and get ready to make a change. We hope that as makers, buyers and consumers we can work together to make a positive difference.