Every year, six million tons of single-use plastics get thrown out, the majority of which ends up in our oceans, posing risk to the welfare of marine life.
An estimated 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic, weighing a whopping 269,000 tons, currently pollutes our oceans. That is equivalent to 1345 adult blue whales.
It is part of CZCL’s ethos to reduce our carbon footprint. So far, in relation to single-use plastics we have:
- Substituted Individual plastic milk cartons with insulated flasks,
- Substituted Individual portioned condiments with refillable and reusable containers,
- Plastic Coffee Stirrers with Compostable Wooden Coffee Stirrers and Plastic Tea Spoons with Reusable Metal Tea Spoons and/or Compostable Wooden spoons
- Substituted plastic sauce and “side” pots with reusable ramekins; Substituted polystyrene take away trays with Palm Leaf plates then later with bagasse/vegware trays for improved sturdiness
- Replaced individual plastic straws with paper straws and added the option to purchase reusable stainless steel straws
- Reused packaging from deliveries to wrap breakable purchases from our Gift Shop
- Removed plastic bottled water and replaced with tetrapak cartons. Customer feedback is not great due to the small size and the temperature, we intend to phase out the tetrapak in favour of canned water.
Our pledge will continue into 2018 and beyond as we look to make better and more informed choices. We are currently exploring large scale alternatives to cling film for our catering outlets for example.
From a visitor perspective our goal is to share information and knowledge to help people make more informed choices, no matter how small, we want people to leave Safari Zoo feeling that they can make a difference in the world. The area opposite the Humboldt penguin enclosure is now a permanent display of a plastic polluted beach to highlight the issue of plastic pollution, accompanied by the impact plastic has on wild and marine life. This is being revamped for W.O.D. 2019 to maintain relevance and accuracy. A “Beach Clean Bingo” activity will be added for visitors to photograph, with the aim of getting visitors to “think outside the zoo” and take the knowledge they have learned with them.
The Trading post Gift Shop is offering alternatives to everyday plastic items (toothbrushes, cling film, make up wipes) along with educational displays to help promote more ethical and eco-friendly choices.
The website homepage houses a link to a dedicated World Oceans Day Page, with brief information on the harmful impact plastic has on our marine and wildlife. A more detailed page is planned, we are working on this with our Digital Consultants who manage the website.
Plastic Pollution will be a focus subject for a future Homeschool Day.