Every summer, “Plastic-Free July” inspires millions of people to become part of the solution against waste. Originally a charity based out of Australia, the movement has now become a global rallying cry against plastic pollution. Participants learn how bad the crisis is, why plastics threaten natural environments and what they can do to help.

When we’re on the water, it is critically important to be aware of what we bring out on boats with us. The easiest way to prevent our plastics from entering the water is not to bring them on board. Therefore, this year, one of the ways that PADI is joining in on #PlasticFreeJuly is by highlighting how to go plastic-free on dive boats. 

1. Bring A Refillable Water Bottle

As divers, we all know how important hydration is. The sun and sea can be brutal, and it’s recommended to keep a bottle of water near you. However, that doesn’t mean you need to bring a single-use plastic one. Instead, opt for a refillable water bottle. Many are insulated and enjoy the added benefit of keeping your liquids hot or cold. 

Our favorite is the PADI x Ocean Bottle. It is made of recyclable stainless steel and very functional. When you purchase one, you also fund the collection of 1000 ocean-bound plastic bottles — now that’s sustainable!

Don’t forget to ask your dive shop if they provide drinking water in a big water cooler so that you can refill your own bottle, if necessary.

Pro tip: if you like drinking sports drinks or electrolytes when you dive, you can buy a bulk can of powder and mix it into your refillable water bottle. By doing this, you avoid buying a new single-use plastic bottle each time you dive.

2. Use Reusable Baggies To Pack Boat Snacks

Diving is an active sport. Often, we surface from a dive starving and looking for a quick bite. Unfortunately, popular boat snacks like chips, fruit snacks, cookies and beef jerky are almost always wrapped in foil or plastic. On windy days, it’s easy to see how these wrappers can fly into the water. 

Instead, buy your snacks in bulk and pack what you need for your dive day in a reusable baggie. There are lots of brands, such as silicone stasher bags or reusable cloth Lunchskins. Each of these is estimated to replace hundreds of single-use Ziploc and plastic bags over their lifetime. And, many come in awesome ocean prints.

3. Ditch Plastic in Defog

When we dive, we all want to see clearly — especially when the visibility is stunning! Defog helps; but, when it comes in little plastic bottles, it can also hurt. 

To de-plastify your defog routine, you can mix a little bit of baby shampoo with water in a reusable bottle. Of course, get that in bulk and keep refilling, refilling and refilling. Or, go au naturale with a little spit in your mask.

4. Pack Plastic-Free Lunch From Home 

To-go containers, sandwich wrappers and plastic bags are some of the most common plastics that make their way onto boats. Rather than creating all that single-use trash, bring a plastic-free lunch from home instead! Make a sandwich and wrap it in a napkin or a reusable bag like the ones we highlighted above. Pack fruit instead of chips or cookies. And, carry it all in an ocean-themed lunchbox or bag instead of a plastic bag. 

A shark-themed lunch box.
Bentology shark lunchbox available on Amazon.com.

5. Use Upcycled Dive And Boat Gear

Finally, there is one way you can use plastics on a dive boat that helps the earth — in your dive and boat gear! Of course, going plastic-free is the best way to help the oceans. The second best option is repurposing old plastics into useful items. This helps them stay out of the landfill and gives them new life. 

A black rashguard with a dive logo
A PADI rashguard made from recycled plastics

For example, opt for PADI rashguards made from ghost net fishing gear. These are fun, functional, and good for the planet. 

You can also protect your face from the sun with recycled plastic face masks or PADI hats made from recycled plastic. We especially love the Shark Diver Hat  — since every week is Shark Week. 

Additionally, you can look cool and know you’re helping the ocean with polarized sunglasses made from 100% recycled ocean plastic.

Finally, dry off with a PADI X Discovery Shark Week Recycled Plastic Travel Towel. It packs light, gets you dry and is made of the equivalent of 14 plastic bottles. Or, use a PADI X LEUS Ocean Blue Camo Eco-friendly Poncho. This is made from recycled plastic bottles and PET.

Want To Do More To Fight Plastics In Our Ocean?

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