Have you seen or heard of the new online challenge? #Tashtag or hashtag trashtag as it’s called. You know what it’s like every year someone comes up with new challenges, some are weird, some are funny and some help to raise awareness.
Well the new challenge is quite different as it requires action to be taken, as it trends online, mainly aimed at teenagers and is aimed at not only raising awareness but actually doing something positive and that will create change if enough people take part.
Now believe it or not the original challenge was set up back in 2015 by an outdoor company, UCO Gear as part of a campaign to protect wilderness areas.
Why Go Viral Now
Well a Facebook post a few weeks back directed at “tired teens” has apparently given it new life and made the hashtag go viral.
The post below from Byron that saw the challenge coming to life again.
We feel that this is great news, as not only is it cleaning up some terrible looking areas around the world, but it is really helping to raise environmental awareness, especially around plastics.
Tags that people are adopting for this challenge are #trashtag #trashtagchallange #trashchallange and in Spain #BasuraChallange.
Many people and not just teens just don’t realise the amount of plastics that we are throwing away and a staggering 40% of this comes from food packaging. More and more people are now wanting laws changed around single use plastics and this challenge could really help make that happen. Hopefully people taking part in this challenge will really start to become aware of just how big this problem is and the effects that it is having on our environment and all that live in it.
Sea life is hugely affected by the amount of waste ending up in our seas and oceans and it is not uncommon now to see these animals that are affected ending up as stories on Social Media.
Sea Life Dying from Ingesting Our Plastic Waste
While most of the areas that are being cleaned for this challenge are on land it is not the only place affected. Huge amounts of this waste reach or seas and oceans daily. Most of this waste starts off on land, when not disposed of properly can make its way into our waters. This can be through drains, the wind carrying it and many other means.
The more we can remove from our land and dispose of correctly the less that will end up in the sea.
On the 2nd February 2017 a Cuvier’s beaked whale was found off the western coast of Norway (not somewhere these whales would normally be seen). The whale was in such poor condition that it had to be destroyed.
When researched opened the whale up they found staggering amounts of plastics including over 30 plastic bags in the whale’s stomach. These plastics are thought to have blocked the whale’s intestines causing severe pain. The whale was emaciated with very little blubber left on it. Read the full story here.
In 2018 a dead sperm whale was washed ashore in Indonesia; this whale was found to have more than 13 pounds of plastic inside it. This included 115 drinking cups, 25 plastic bags, plastic bottles, two flip-flops and a bag containing more than 1,000 pieces of string. You can read the full story here.
And it is not just the whales many turtles are also suffering due to our waste. Not only are they becoming entangled in discarded plastics and fishing equipment, but they also are swallowing plastic bags thinking that it is food. A common food for turtles is jellyfish and they will often mistake plastic bags and balloons for these. Once swallowed these can not be digested properly and cause blockages for other food stuff that they eat. Find out more here.
Plastic in Our Food!
If that is not enough to make you want to get involved in this challenge and to start taking a stance against plastics in general, is the next statement?
Plastics are now beginning to make there way into our food! Let that start to sink in.
If animals and sea life are starting to eat and swallow plastics the toxins from these plastics are making their way into these animals systems too. As the food chain goes along each animal is ingesting more of these toxins and as we are really head of the food chain what are we getting? Poisoned from these plastics too.
Not only that, the plastics (and tins), that we buy our food in, also leach these chemicals into our food too.
Take the Challenge
So, I encourage you to take this challenge. Once you are cleaning up an area you cannot help but REALLY notice the amount of plastics that you will be lifting. Remember to take your before and after pictures and post them on Social Media to encourage more people to do the same. Maybe even nominate a few friends as other challenges do.
BUT, once you have completed your challenge really think about what you have just cleaned up, let it sink in and think about what you can do in your daily life to reduce your use of plastic.
If you want some help with this head over to https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/9-ways-reduce-plastic-use/
where you can get a helping hand.
IT IS OUR WORLD AND IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE CARE OF IT.
If you enjoyed this post you may also like our other post: https://campmehappy.com/environmental-clean-up-pleasure-over-plastics