Posted on Thursday, 18 December 2014
Here is my story about our change from plastic bags to natural, chemical -free and biodegradable sandwich bags.
Apex Shark Expeditions used to use clear plastic sandwich bags for individual complimentary sandwiches for our guests each trip. With an average of 12 guests per shark trip, this would mean on average 6000 plastic sandwich bags would be purchased in a Great White Shark season. Not only would this mean plastic waste to depose of through normal waste management but occasionally when guests had finished their sandwich I noticed they would put their plastic bag in their pockets for safe keeping or with the intention of disposing it later in the bin. Unfortunately a few of the sandwich bags would not reach the bin, blowing out of their pockets or letting it go in excitement once seeing a Great White Shark resulting in a plastic bag landing in the sea. We make a conscience effort in trying to retrieve each sandwich bag however this is not always possible due to many variables such as lying on anchor and winding / current sweeping it too quickly and too far for us to retrieve etc.These plastic sandwich bags enter the water system and pose a big hazard to various marine animals and the oceanic environment itself.
This prompted me to initiated and implement that Apex Shark Expeditions use natural, unbleached, biodegradable and recycled brown paper sandwich bags to replace the plastic sandwich bags. Thus in a situation where a brown paper sandwich bag blows in the sea and Apex is unable to retrieve it, it will break down fairly rapidly and not pose a threat to marine animals, not to mention a far better option than putting more plastic back into the general waste system. Should a marine creature consume a brown paper sandwich bag it should be able to get digested pretty easily without causing any harm to the animal. A far different result would happen should it be a plastic bag!
Apex Shark Expedition is an marine eco-tourism company specialising in Great White Shark predatory behaviour and Cage Diving in False Bay. We aim to provide an intimate and personal encounter with the Great white sharks and to pass on our passion for these magnificent super predators and the eco system they co-exist with.