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September 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 33, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Dive Industry, Stop with the Plastic

and how you, our fellow divers, can help

from the September, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Despite our continuing efforts to get the diving industry to take the problems of single-use plastic seriously (see our January, May and July issues so far this year) most equipment manufacturers continue to employ unnecessary plastic packaging of their products .

There is a lot of plastic in the ocean. It comes in all shapes, forms and sizes, it is found floating on the surface, suspended in the water column or littering the ocean floor, and it eventually washes up on beaches around the world, wreaking havoc with marine life in all these ecosystems.

According to a scientific report released by the California nonprofit Plastic Oceans, marine plastic debris has impacted over 600 marine species from the bottom to the top of the food chain, many dying a slow, agonizing death . The Greenpeace report, "Plastic Debris in the World's Oceans," states, "At least 267 different species are known to have suffered from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris including seabirds, turtles, seals, sea lions, whales and fish . The scale of contamination of the marine environment by plastic debris is vast . It is found floating in all the world's oceans, everywhere from polar regions to the equator."

Here at Undercurrent, we think the diving industry should take a lead on this issue and eliminate single-use plastic from its packaging of dive equipment.

As we mentioned in July's article, a few small companies have been bold enough to take the problem on board, but apart from Mares (and an unfulfilled promise from Aqualung and Scubapro to get back to us), the silence from the other manufacturers has been deafening -- and disappointing.

So it is time for you to take action . Contact these industry leaders and ask what their plans are for reducing the amount of plastic they use in their packaging . If you want to protect our oceans, this is where you must start . Please act now.

Send emails to:

* Dean Garraffa, president of Atomic Aquatics - dean.garaffa@huishoutdoors.com

* Franco Ravano, president of Cressi USA - franco.ravano@cressiusa.com

* Don Rockwell, president of Aqua Lung - drockwell@aqualung.com

* Joseph Stella, group vice-president at Scubapro - joe.stella@johnsonoutdoors.com

Another option is to write a public comment or send a direct message to a brand on its Facebook page, asking them about plastics in packaging and alerting other divers who follow them on social media to the issue.

* Aqua Lung - www.facebook.com/aqualungdivers

* Atomic Aquatics - www.facebook.com/atomicaquatics

* Cressi - www.facebook.com/cressigear

* Scubapro - www.facebook.com/Scubapro. Uwatec

* Seac - www.facebook.com/SeacOfficialPage

* Stahlsac - www.facebook.com/stahlsacbags

* Waterproof - www.facebook.com/WaterproofInternational-135339246530351

And keep their response -- or lack of one -- in mind the next time you're shopping for dive gear .

-- John Bantin

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