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Elyse Knowles Focuses On Harmful Effects Of Single-Use Plastics To Protect The Ocean

She’s known for her advocacy of environmental sustainability, now Australian model Elyse Knowles is focusing on the harmful effects of single-use plastics to protect the ocean.

Every year, Australians spend $385 million on more than 726 million litres of bottled water, which seems ludicrous considering that Australia is a country that has some of the best and cleanest tap water in the world.

The fight against plastic waste is one I’m incredibly passionate about. Whether I’m going for a dip in the ocean, hiking, or spending the weekend camping, I’ve always had a love for nature – and it makes me very sad to see its beauty deteriorate because of  our behaviours which urgently need changing.” says Elyse, the ambassador for SodaStream’s Ocean of the Future campaign.

A recent survey conducted by SodaStream found that Aussie parents and children are concerned about plastic in the sea, with 82% of children feeling hopeless about the problem and 93 % of parents being concerned, too.

Yet only one in five parents actually say no to single-use plastics!

Plastic bottles, pollution, ocean
Last year in Roatan, Honduras, there was a shocking 9 tonnes of plastic as part of the campaign.

However, it seems the kids are showing their parents the way forward. A group of 5th and 6th graders of Surry Hills Primary School in Sydney were able to witness themselves the devastating effects of single-use plastics in the ocean from the Ocean of the Future’s VR video (below).

Ocean of the Future’s Virtual Reality experience

“I hadn’t realised how much plastic there was in the ocean”, one girl said

“It made me feel sick because there was so much pollution”, another boy added.

Elyse Knowles, Virtual Reality
Elyse Knowles testing the Virtual Reality experience

With about a quarter of Aussie children placing the blame on the earlier generations, it seemed only right to educate the new generation into doing the right thing, so that they can avoid making the same mistakes. SodaStream Australia’s Marketing Director, Laura Wilson believes that this is the right way forward:

We created our Ocean of the Future VR experience so that more Australian’s can not only see, but through the magic of VR, experience the sheer scale of the plastic waste issue first hand. We truly believe that by doing so, users will better connect with the problem and therefore be moved to make changes in their consumption habits.”, She said.

SodaStream, Ocean, Pollution, Elyse Knowles
Mark Fenton, Joel Parkinson, Terrie-Ann Johnson, Daniel BirnBaum, David Day, Elyse Knowles, Sophia Skarparis at the SodaStream event.

Elyse, being a passionate environmentalist and lover of the ocean, is adamant that small day-to-day changes can make a positive difference to the larger issue. All we need to do is pitch in and do our part.

Here’s a list of top tips to reduce single-use plastic waste that Elyse proposed all Australians should and can implement in their lives:

  1. Switch from plastic cling wrap to bees wax wrap
  2. Ditch plastic straws altogether
  3. Use a SodaStream machine and its reusable BPA Free carbonating bottles to create sparkling beverages by simply using tap water from your home. Doing so can save thousands of single-use plastic water bottles.
  4. When ordering takeaway, opt for restaurants that don’t serve their food in plastic containers, and request no cutlery to be sent.
  5. Instead of grabbing a plastic bag on offer at the counter, keep a folded canvas tote in your handbag, so it’s always available for any last-minute trip.
  6.  If you’re taking your dog for a walk or you’re out for a stroll, bring along some hand sanitizer and pick up and rubbish you see that hasn’t been disposed of correctly or is on the ground. When other people see you doing this, it probably also helps them to think twice the next time they see rubbish lying around.

If you want to go see the damages of the plastic-waste epidemic on the ocean for yourselves, SodaStream’s Ocean for the Future’s virtual reality experience is available from the 3rd – 7th of September, 2019 at The Overseas Passenger Terminal on Sydney’s Circular Quay. Also on site is the turtle sculpture named “Eddy” (also the name of an undercurrent that moves plastic around the ocean) created from over 242g of reclaimed and repurposed single-use Oceans plastics collected from around turtle settlements in Northern Queensland.

(The sculpture was created by Australian reclaimed plastics Artist, David Day, together with Melbourne based Lump Sculpture Studios.)

If you make it, snap a pic and share it, spread the message, and raise awareness.

Written by Emeric Brard

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