Want to reduce marine plastic pollution? Become a diver with PADI

If you crave adventure and are looking for a way to give back while you travel, becoming a diver should be at the top of your to-do list.

Published 27 Jul 2019, 11:00 BST
A diver swims beneath a shoal of fish
A diver swims beneath a shoal of fish.
Photograph by PADI

An open water diving certification can be a passport to a new world beneath the waves — but it’s a world that is critically endangered. The plastic issue continues apace, with one National Geographic report revealing that about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations every year. It has been found in the deepest of underwater trenches, on the most remote of beaches and in the stomachs of creatures as big as the blue whale and as small as the plankton they feed on. Learn to dive, and look at how you can join a community of people fighting for ocean health.

Three ways to fight plastic pollution as you dive:

Dive Against Debris
Take PADI’s Dive Against Debris course, created in partnership with Project AWARE. Once complete, you’ll be able to safely remove plastic waste from the ocean floor every time you dive.

Speak up for the oceans
With your new knowledge and exposure to the underwater world, you’re guaranteed to want to share your love of diving with friends and family. Use your voice to benefit the ocean by encouraging others to find alternatives to single use plastics.

Organise and attend beach clean-ups wherever you travel
Make a point of looking for beach clean-up events when you travel somewhere new. Attending these events is a great way to meet locals, spend time in the sun and give back to the environment.

Two divers at the bottom of the ocean.
Photograph by PADI

Where to start
The PADI Open Water Diver certification is the world’s most popular diving certification; it’s internationally recognised and there are more than 6,600 PADI Dive Centres and Resorts all over the world. The course is completed in three sections:
1. Knowledge Development
The theory can be completed in a classroom environment at your local PADI Dive Centre or through e-learning in the comfort of your own home.
2. Confined Open Water Dives
Take your first breath underwater as you develop and practice your scuba skills in pool-like conditions with your instructor.
3. Open Water Dives
Continue to develop your new skills under the close supervision of a PADI Dive Instructor with the freedom of open water.

Where to dive
By starting a certification in the UK and affiliating with a PADI Dive Centre close to home, you’ll immerse yourself in a dive community that goes beyond your next trip abroad. You can complete the theory and confined water dives locally, leaving the final open-water dives to complete either at home or when you arrive at your next destination.

To be able to complete the PADI Open Water Diver certification, you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness. This generally means the ability to swim at least 200 meters and to tread water for about 10 minutes. An open mind, a little wanderlust and good sense of humour also goes a long way.

For more information visit PADI Dive Centre

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