View from the Zoo: Winning fight against single use plastics

Humboldt penguins at Flamingo Land.
Humboldt penguins at Flamingo Land.

The world’s oceans cover around 71% of the earth’s surface and last Friday, June 8, was World Ocean Day, an arbitrary date chosen to remind us all of the importance of these vast, unexplored bodies of water.

Scientists believe that the oceans are home to over a millions species of plant and animals, many of which are still waiting to be discovered. However, it is likely that some may never be found. One thing that scientists can agree on is that the number of species is getting smaller. Many are becoming extinct!

A hot topic at the moment is single use plastics.

Plastic is finding its way into our rivers and oceans in massive amounts and causing untold damage. Whales, turtles and seabirds have all washed up dead on beaches with their guts full of plastic items. But it doesn’t stop there. Tiny bits of plastic are finding their way into the food chain and are now turning up on our own plates in fish, prawns and other sea foods.

Here at Flamingo Land, some of our most popular animals, the Humboldt penguins and Californian sea lions serve as a constant reminder of the fragility of their ocean habitats, so you won’t be surprised that we are passionate about keeping the oceans clean.

At Flamingo Land we have replaced plastic cutlery with a biodegradable alternative in our restaurants and every item of rubbish from the site is sent to be sorted and recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. We are now able to boast that we send nothing to landfill.

However, we can’t do it alone, we all need to be more conscious of how we use plastics and dispose of them.

Recycle, Re-use and take Responsibility. So far we have done a brilliant job of making a real mess of our oceans. Now we need to start cleaning them up for all of our sakes.