Lauren Jubb is an “antiplastic warrior”. She who was diving in Manta Point, Nusa Penida in Indonesia on the 16th of February of 2018. When she faced the sad reality of the plastic situation.
The day before, my partner and I, had been snorkelling in the same place, and experienced the exact same feeling. When I say “it all began with Lauren”, it is because it was her video that made me react. My younger sister sent me from Spain a link to a video that had become viral. In the video Lauren showed the disaster that Manta Point had become. That crude reality I had lived and that feeling I hadn’t told anyone. Then something awoke in me, and I felt the need to do something more.
That determination led me to this point, here and now.
Getting to know and “interview” (because I’m not a journalist myself) Lauren, it’s an amazing experience.
Please Lauren, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Australian, Dive Master, Studying a master’s degree in Conservation Science, amateur photographer.
How did you feel that day of the video?
I remember saying to the people I was travelling with at how pristine the water visibility was and how beautiful the water and island was. At this point, I was getting very excited to go diving. Before even shooting the video, I was already very upset. On the way to the dive site, I could see multiple patches of rubbish floating on the surface of the water as we approached. When we did reach our destination, we spotted the Mantas on the surface, swimming around our boat and I was so excited! They are the most beautiful, majestic creatures. But then, looking closely from the boat, I saw a plastic bag around one of the Manta Ray’s mouths. That was when reality hit me. Even though I am already very aware of the world’s issues with plastic pollution… No one could prepare for seeing that. We descended under the water and that is when I shot the video. To say I was horrified is an understatement. I don’t even know what feelings I had at that time… Shock? Anger? Sadness? Probably all of the above… Mostly disappointment towards us as humans and what we have done to the ocean and its animals.
Which actions against plastic do you take?
I try to limit my personal use of waste as much as possible and when I do come across having to get rid of any waste, I recycle or re-use where I can. I encourage my friends, family and workplace to take actions towards being environmentally friendly and use any social media platform I have to raise awareness. I’m currently working as a Dive Master and studying a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology to be able to progress in the environmental industry and continue to fight for the environment. I’m still learning everyday about different ways to limit plastic and working towards being completely plastic free so, I am in no way an expert which just proves that everyone really can do it because it is really easy! But, to begin with every day things – I use stainless Steele straws and also always refuse plastic ones if I’m ordering out. When shopping – I use reusable bags and avoid buying packaged goods where an unpackaged alternative is available. I also have reusable produce bags. Avoiding packaged foods, especially at large supermarket chains is actually disappointingly hard! But I do the best I can, and it is definitely possible. Going to local farmers markets also means unpackaged fruit and vegetables as well as supporting your local farmers and buying second hand clothes from thrift shops.
How do you motivate other people so that they get into action?
Education is definitely the most powerful key to motivate people to change their ways and fight for the environment. Footage like this video and other footage that shows innocent animals struggling amongst plastic and the waste we have created is never easy to see but I believe it’s exactly what people need to see in order to change their ways. Even in the simplest way, it’s better to do ANYTHING than to do nothing. 7 billion people doing one thing as an individual is exactly how we have this problem, so if 7 billion people change one behaviour for the better of the environment, the result would be immense.
Which kind of disposable plastic have you found more difficult to avoid or replace?
Bathroom bottles!! Like shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc… Unless I make my own, I haven’t found a way to avoid the plastic that comes with all that… If you figure it out, please let me know! (In Australia)
I always like to make this question: what is your favourite saying?
In regard to raising awareness for waste and pollution: “It’s just one straw, one bottle, one coffee cup’ said 7 billion people.”
And, to conclude. We want to send to the sea a message without bottle, which can arrive to everybody’s ears. Which message would you send?
Try just that little bit harder and care just that little bit more.
Thank you very much Lauren for this conversation and for opening my eyes and other people’s ones.
From antiplastic, we want to share stories of people that take action in the war against plastic.