RS Sailing
Premier Way, Abbey Park
Romsey Hampshire SO51 9DQ
01794 526760
RS Sailing
Premier Way, Abbey Park
Romsey Hampshire SO51 9DQ
01794 526760

10 practical ideas to help reduce the plastics in our oceans  

April 21, 2023

The core team at RS Sailing are life-long sailors who love being on the water. We’d like to think we’ve developed some great boats for people like us and for the next generation of sailors, so we want to do our part to protect the environment we all enjoy sailing in.

We are continuously looking for new ways that we can help protect our playground, and we read this blog before ‘Ocean Day’, where they highlight ten hard-hitting facts about the current state of plastics in our oceans.

Emotively armed with those facts, we took some time to create some helpful tips that we, as dinghy sailors, can genuinely get behind in the boat park and on the water to help reduce the plastics in our oceans.

So first up in the left-hand column are the 10 facts highlighting the staggering state of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Next up in the right-hand column are our 10 top tips that we as dinghy sailors, can genuinely do in the boat park and on the water to help reduce the plastics in our oceans.

10 facts

1. Every minute, two lorries worth of plastic are dumped into our oceans – Currently, 8 million metric tons of plastic winds up in the oceans. That’s enough plastic to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full rubbish bags of plastic…compounding every year. The amount of plastic trash that flows into the oceans every year is expected to nearly triple by 2040 to 29 million metric tons.

2. Microplastics – Microplastics in different forms are present in almost all water systems in the world, be they streams, rivers, lakes, or oceans. There is more microplastic in the ocean than stars in the Milky Way.

3. Ocean plastic patches – There are five massive patches of plastic in the oceans around the world. These enormous concentrations of plastic debris cover large swaths of the ocean. One patch in particular, known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” covers 20 million square kilometres of water.

4. Taking over – By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish (by weight).

5. 363,762,732,605 – As of 2021, there are at least 363,762,732,605 pounds of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

6. Nowhere is safe – Plastic has been found at 36,000 feet (approximately 11km) in the Mariana Trench, meaning not even the deepest part of the world’s oceans can escape contamination.

7. Over 1 million marine organisms are killed each year – Over 1 million marine organisms are killed each year due to plastic pollution in the ocean. Animals who eat plastic often starve because the plastic prevents them from properly swallowing food.

8. Increased risk of disease – The chances of disease on a coral reef are enhanced by 22-fold by plastics. In 2018, a huge survey of the 159 coral reefs across Asia-Pacific region showed that over 11.1 billion plastic particles are entangling the corals, and this number is estimated to increase dramatically by 40% by 2025. Plastic debris may also cause physical damage to the corals by exhausting the resources for the wound-healing process. Importantly, more than 7000 species of fishes, invertebrates, plants, sea turtles, birds, and marine mammals can be found in the coral reef ecosystem.

9. Disrupting the natural marine ecosystem – Animals are now colonising the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, meaning that they are consuming plastic waste and also living in previously uninhabited areas. All of these developments disrupt the natural marine ecosystem.

10. Foodchain – Many animals at the base of the food chain eat microplastics. These animals are then consumed by others that humans eat.

10 top tips

1. Invest in a reusable coffee mug & drinks bottle – We know how important that morning coffee is after an early start to get to the club and that being well hydrated before you hit the water is essential for a great performance. Still, neither are good enough reasons to be using single-use plastics. Invest in a decent reusable coffee mug that will keep your morning brew warm whilst you rig your boat, and get a decent reusable drinks bottle that will last you a lifetime of fun.

2. Say no to single-use plastic – A plastic glass for your cold pint when you come off the water, plastic cutlery and plates for the sailing club BBQ that evening. It’s sometimes really hard to say no or ask for an alternative when so many clubs are run by volunteers and goodwill. If you’re able to positively make your point, the sustainability message will work it’s way back to the sailing club committee where they can make proactive changes to minimise, if not remove entirely, their single-use plastics.

3. Tie your reusable bottles in the boat – We’ve all been there, you’ve spectacularly mucked up a gybe, capsized and you have to choose between getting the kite down as your helms giving it ‘all that’ from the centreboard or  swimming after your drinks bottles – sadly getting less sass from your helm usually wins out! A simple bit of elastic can change all that.

4. Remove fiddly wrappers before you get out on the water – Trying to rip open a cereal bar with your teeth between races, with either cold hands or chunky gloves on is a challenge. Ensuring the wrapper doesn’t fly straight out the back of the boat significantly adds to stress levels. Try unwrapping your snacks before you get on the water and storing them safely in a drybag for easy, stress-free grazing between races.

5. Ditch the fleece – A sailing club classic fashion statement from the late 1970’s, keeping you warm in the boat park or as a mid-layer under a splash top. We’re no experts on this so we headed to Ocean Clean Wash for the facts. Fleece is commonly made of polyester, and polyester is a synthetic fabric. What makes polyester fleece a clothing item that adds to the plastic pollution in our oceans is the way it’s made: fleece yarn is very weak because the fibres are very short, and they come off easier than from other clothing items. Just by wearing and washing fleece, millions of these plastic fibres are shed and end up in the environment. More than one-third of the microplastics in the ocean come from synthetic clothing. So please – ditch the fleece!

6. Eliminate electrical tape – Wound around the bottom of split pins, tiller extensions, trolleys, shroud plates, the mast when you’re packing up to travel home. Electrical tape plagues some dinghies, and it perishes and falls off over time. Ask yourself, do you really need it? If you regularly checked your shackles, took all the friction out of your kite system or invested in a reusable pair of shroud covers, how much electrical tape could you save from ending up in the sea?

7. Buy spares from sustainability-conscious sources – We can’t talk for any other retailers other than the RS Sailing Store, but did you know that over the last 2 years we’ve made a huge effort to use fully biodegradable and 100% plastic-free packaging with Priority Direct? With environmentally friendly self-adhesive paper packing tape, paper strapping which is a great eco-friendly alternative to plastic strapping, 30% recycled and fully recyclable bubble wrap and durable cardboard packing boxes, we’re really proud that most of the packaging our products come in are fully biodegradable and 100% plastic-free! We’re not perfect and we can’t do it in all circumstances but we’ve come a long way and we’re proud of the changes we’ve made so far. We were recommended Priority Direct by a sailor in the RS family, they are a partner of 1% for the Planet, which means they give 1% of the sale of each and every one of PrioryElements products to environmental charities; so by purchasing from the PrioryElements range we’re not only making sustainable packaging choices, we are also giving back to the planet.

8. Repair or buy pre-loved rather than replace with new – Have you got a part or accessory that’s not in tip top condition? Before you login online and go to order a brand spanking new one, have you had a go at repairing it or trying to source a pre-loved alternative? Head to your Class Association Facebook group and ask if anyone has some good ideas for repairing it or if they have any used kit lying around. Not only will you feel like a superstar for saving the planet from even more plastic, but you will also probably save some money too. Win, win!

9. Grab any plastic you can see on the water, beach or in the boat park – We’ve all sailed past plastic carrier bags, drinks bottles, and even the occasional traffic cone whilst out on the water. If it’s safe to do so, why not sharpen up your boat handling skills whilst you’re not racing and try and scoop them up and pop them in your boat? Any rib or committee boat will happily take the offending plastic off you so that you don’t have to race with it. The same principle applies on shore but with no boat handling required at all! If you see plastic blowing around on the beach or around the boat park, capture it before it inevitably ends up in the ocean.

10. Rally together a beach clean – If you’re waiting for the breeze to fill in or moderate, why not rally together an impromptu beach clean crew from your amazing RS class buddies? On a most basic level you’ll need to get permission from the club, some protective gloves, something to contain the plastic you collect and ensure you have somewhere to recycle the plastic at the end of the beach clean. Get those basics ticked and you’re off!

We hope some of these 10 simple tips help you make changes for the better. We all need to invest in our planet and some small changes will make a big difference. Engage with your RS class and clubs to make positive change and #protectourplayground from plastic.

 

Share this!

 

 

SUBSCRIBE

  • Sign up for RS stories, offers, epic wipeout videos and much more!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Join the RS Team! – RS Sailing UK Sales

Job Title: Sales Representative Location: Based at our Romsey headquarters, with frequent travel across the UK. Job Description: Are you an energetic and enthusiastic individual passionate...

Hayling Island – Venue Guide

Written by Tom Morris – Mozzy Sails   As one of only four RYA coastal Centres of Excellence, Hayling Island Sailing Club is one of the leading sailing clubs in the UK and an internationally...

Would your sailing club like to host an RS Aero Demo Day?

Would your sailing club like to host an RS Aero Demo Day?   We have three demo boats available in the UK to bring to your club for members to try out. Whether you are looking to expand your...
RS Aero

Part-ex your RS Aero

Part-ex your RS Aero and receive a launching trolley and top cover for free!   Help the overall RS Aero fleet grow by increasing the number of used boats available. RS Sailing supported px...

Magic Marine Sponsor the RS Feva World Championships 2024

Magic Marine, a prominent name in marine apparel and accessories, has announced its sponsorship of the RS Feva World Championships 2024 for the second year in a row. The 2024 Championship is being...

‘Open’ Category announced for the RS Venture Connect World Championship 2024

"The sport of sailing should be available to anyone, anywhere and on an equal playing field for all participants." Inclusivity is at the heart of the RS Venture Connect Class, which is why the class...

RS Tera North American Championship held at Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Venue

Sailors taking to the start line at the RS Tera North American Championship get a chance to race on the very same water as future Olympians. The 2024 Championship is being held at Alamitos Bay Yacht...

RS Elites and RS Fevas at the 55th Edition of Antigua Sailing Week

Wall-to-wall sunshine, windward-leeward racing on Caribbean trade winds, and amazing beach-side parties, Antigua Sailing Week is here for the 55th edition of this famous island regatta....

RS Tera World Championship 2024 Already Breaking Records with Fully Booked Entry List

In a record-breaking first for the International RS Tera Class, the RS Tera World Championship 2024 registration has reached maximum capacity – selling out more than 3 months in advance of the...

30 reasons to attend the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta

Here are 30 reasons to attend the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta, in no particular order, some are a little more compelling than others!   Premier Sailing Venue - In the harbour or...

Hayling Island – Venue Guide

Written by Tom Morris – Mozzy Sails   As one of only four RYA coastal Centres of Excellence, Hayling Island Sailing Club is one of the leading sailing clubs in the UK and an internationally...

Would your sailing club like to host an RS Aero Demo Day?

Would your sailing club like to host an RS Aero Demo Day?   We have three demo boats available in the UK to bring to your club for members to try out. Whether you are looking to expand your...
RS Aero

Part-ex your RS Aero

Part-ex your RS Aero and receive a launching trolley and top cover for free!   Help the overall RS Aero fleet grow by increasing the number of used boats available. RS Sailing supported px...

Magic Marine Sponsor the RS Feva World Championships 2024

Magic Marine, a prominent name in marine apparel and accessories, has announced its sponsorship of the RS Feva World Championships 2024 for the second year in a row. The 2024 Championship is being...

‘Open’ Category announced for the RS Venture Connect World Championship 2024

"The sport of sailing should be available to anyone, anywhere and on an equal playing field for all participants." Inclusivity is at the heart of the RS Venture Connect Class, which is why the class...

RS Tera North American Championship held at Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Venue

Sailors taking to the start line at the RS Tera North American Championship get a chance to race on the very same water as future Olympians. The 2024 Championship is being held at Alamitos Bay Yacht...

RS Elites and RS Fevas at the 55th Edition of Antigua Sailing Week

Wall-to-wall sunshine, windward-leeward racing on Caribbean trade winds, and amazing beach-side parties, Antigua Sailing Week is here for the 55th edition of this famous island regatta....

RS Tera World Championship 2024 Already Breaking Records with Fully Booked Entry List

In a record-breaking first for the International RS Tera Class, the RS Tera World Championship 2024 registration has reached maximum capacity – selling out more than 3 months in advance of the...

30 reasons to attend the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta

Here are 30 reasons to attend the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta, in no particular order, some are a little more compelling than others!   Premier Sailing Venue - In the harbour or...

RS21 Class supports Inclusion Sailing with the International Inclusive Keelboat Championship 2024

Equal access, equal opportunities, and a truly level playing field... the International Inclusive Keelboat Championship 2024 is the first event of its kind; a World Sailing recognised, one-design...

Would your sailing club like to host an RS Aero Demo Day?

Would your sailing club like to host an RS Aero Demo Day?   We have three demo boats available in the UK to bring to your club for members to try out. Whether you are looking to expand your...
RS Aero

Part-ex your RS Aero

Part-ex your RS Aero and receive a launching trolley and top cover for free!   Help the overall RS Aero fleet grow by increasing the number of used boats available. RS Sailing supported px...

Magic Marine Sponsor the RS Feva World Championships 2024

Magic Marine, a prominent name in marine apparel and accessories, has announced its sponsorship of the RS Feva World Championships 2024 for the second year in a row. The 2024 Championship is being...

‘Open’ Category announced for the RS Venture Connect World Championship 2024

"The sport of sailing should be available to anyone, anywhere and on an equal playing field for all participants." Inclusivity is at the heart of the RS Venture Connect Class, which is why the class...

RS Tera North American Championship held at Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Venue

Sailors taking to the start line at the RS Tera North American Championship get a chance to race on the very same water as future Olympians. The 2024 Championship is being held at Alamitos Bay Yacht...

RS Elites and RS Fevas at the 55th Edition of Antigua Sailing Week

Wall-to-wall sunshine, windward-leeward racing on Caribbean trade winds, and amazing beach-side parties, Antigua Sailing Week is here for the 55th edition of this famous island regatta....

RS Tera World Championship 2024 Already Breaking Records with Fully Booked Entry List

In a record-breaking first for the International RS Tera Class, the RS Tera World Championship 2024 registration has reached maximum capacity – selling out more than 3 months in advance of the...

30 reasons to attend the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta

Here are 30 reasons to attend the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta, in no particular order, some are a little more compelling than others!   Premier Sailing Venue - In the harbour or...

RS21 Class supports Inclusion Sailing with the International Inclusive Keelboat Championship 2024

Equal access, equal opportunities, and a truly level playing field... the International Inclusive Keelboat Championship 2024 is the first event of its kind; a World Sailing recognised, one-design...
RS Venture Connect

Olympic Flame to be carried by RS Venture Connect Inclusive Sailing Program Mare Inseme

Mare Inseme, an inclusive sailing association in Corsica, has been selected to carry the Paris 2024 Olympic flame during the torch relay in the build up to the Olympic Games. Based out of Ajaccio,...
RS Aero

Part-ex your RS Aero

Part-ex your RS Aero and receive a launching trolley and top cover for free!   Help the overall RS Aero fleet grow by increasing the number of used boats available. RS Sailing supported px...

Magic Marine Sponsor the RS Feva World Championships 2024

Magic Marine, a prominent name in marine apparel and accessories, has announced its sponsorship of the RS Feva World Championships 2024 for the second year in a row. The 2024 Championship is being...

‘Open’ Category announced for the RS Venture Connect World Championship 2024

"The sport of sailing should be available to anyone, anywhere and on an equal playing field for all participants." Inclusivity is at the heart of the RS Venture Connect Class, which is why the class...

RS Tera North American Championship held at Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Venue

Sailors taking to the start line at the RS Tera North American Championship get a chance to race on the very same water as future Olympians. The 2024 Championship is being held at Alamitos Bay Yacht...

RS Elites and RS Fevas at the 55th Edition of Antigua Sailing Week

Wall-to-wall sunshine, windward-leeward racing on Caribbean trade winds, and amazing beach-side parties, Antigua Sailing Week is here for the 55th edition of this famous island regatta....

RS Tera World Championship 2024 Already Breaking Records with Fully Booked Entry List

In a record-breaking first for the International RS Tera Class, the RS Tera World Championship 2024 registration has reached maximum capacity – selling out more than 3 months in advance of the...

30 reasons to attend the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta

Here are 30 reasons to attend the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta, in no particular order, some are a little more compelling than others!   Premier Sailing Venue - In the harbour or...

RS21 Class supports Inclusion Sailing with the International Inclusive Keelboat Championship 2024

Equal access, equal opportunities, and a truly level playing field... the International Inclusive Keelboat Championship 2024 is the first event of its kind; a World Sailing recognised, one-design...
RS Venture Connect

Olympic Flame to be carried by RS Venture Connect Inclusive Sailing Program Mare Inseme

Mare Inseme, an inclusive sailing association in Corsica, has been selected to carry the Paris 2024 Olympic flame during the torch relay in the build up to the Olympic Games. Based out of Ajaccio,...

RS Fest Miami brings the hit RS Sailing Festival to the United States

RS Fest Miami celebrated the RS Sailing community in the United States over the Easter weekend, hosting the first ever multi-fleet RS regatta to take place in North America.   Surrounded...

Pin It on Pinterest