Your single-use plastic bottle is killing the world's most beautiful coral reefs. Here's why.
In 2017-18, the Volvo Ocean Race has renewed its sustainability focus, with the help of some incredible partners – and a big part of that programme is education, both internally and externally. As part of that, stakeholders in the Cape Town Race Village were invited by the Race and founding sustainability partner 11th Hour Racing to watch the new documentary, 'Chasing Coral' by director Jeff Orlowski.
The event was attended by a host of 2017-18 sailors including Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari, Vestas 11th Hour Racing's Damian Foxall, Mark Towill and Charlie Enright and MAPFRE navigator Joan Vila. It's about a team of divers, scientists and photographers who set out on a mission to uncover why coral reefs around the planet are vanishing at an unprecedented rate.
The Volvo Ocean Race is an excellent platform to raise awareness on the topic of sustainability – everyone working for the race needs to be on the same page.Damian Foxall – Vestas 11th Hour Racing
If you haven't seen it, put it on your list. And if you're wondering what your single-use plastic bottle has to do with the increased bleaching of the ocean's coral reefs, keep reading.
Coral reefs around the planet are dying as we speak – and sustaining and protecting them isn't just about retaining their beauty under the ocean. Reefs are vital to around 25% of all marine life – and a billion humans are estimated to rely on them for food and income. Climate change is causing this bleaching. The world's oceans absorb 92% of the atmospheric heat caused by carbon emissions. The result? As the oceans get warmer, the coral can't survive. In 2016, we lost 29% of the world's coral reefs. Yep, that's one third of them, in just 12 months.
So, you're probably thinking – where does my single-use plastic bottle come into this? Well, plastic comes from (predominantly) oil. Oil is extracted from the ground, and through this extraction, carbon emissions are produced. The more single-use plastic we consume, the more carbon emissions are produced.
Well, what difference does my one plastic bottle make? asks seven billion people.