Eyes on PolyU

Our everyday actions can save the oceans

The University’s Plastic Free Friday movement proudly extends into May with more inspiring activities. The Campus Sustainability Office invited Ms. Dana Winograd, the Director of Operation for Plastic Free Seas to the campus on 17 May 2018. Dana not only shared her views on how plastic damages our marine environment, but also how each of us can engage more in environmental protection.

Plastic Free Seas is a local environmental charity providing environmental education with a special focus on plastic marine pollution. Dana and her friends serving this charity have a strong passion for the ocean. Everything started with her research expedition sailing through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. She had the first-hand experience in witnessing the plastic problem over the water, which was dreadful and frightening.

Dana Winograd from Plastic Free Seas speaks to the campus community

In her eyes, plastic waste is a local and a global issue. “We have all seen plastic bags and bottles around us. We see the plastic straws and all the unnecessary plastic wrapping and packaging in fast food chains and supermarkets. They accumulate on the streets, and a lot of such plastic waste ultimately ends up at the beach and in the sea. Making the situation worse, we now see micro beads getting into the seas and are ingested by the fish we often eat. And we see birds eating too much plastic as well – they have small toothbrushes and chopsticks in their bellies,” Dana explained.

Dana suggested that reducing people’s reliance on single-use plastics can help stop the flow of rubbish into the sea, and she reminded the audience that it’s time to reassess our daily behavior and consumption pattern which intensify such unseen tragedy.

The best solution to address this global issue is to empower ourselves with a will to change, and Dana showed the audience how she achieved this. She always carries her ‘magic backpack’ with her own reusable drinking cup, food containers, cutleries and shopping bags. She has been skipping plastic straws for a long time, and she kicks plastic umbrella bags as well. She stays alert on plastic packaging, and she will not hesitate to tell store owners that she can carry her bought items ‘wrapping-free’ with her own hands. She visits wet market with her net bag for vegetables and fruits.

Dana shares how she leads her plastic free lifestyle        The speaker has fruitful dialogues with the audience on skipping plastics

Dana’s experience tells we do not need to become great heroes to save our environment. The real things that we can deal with in regards to plastic pollution are our everyday actions.


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