An Ocean of Plastic
Plastics are ubiquitous, and despite their recyclability, the vast majority of plastic products are discarded after a single use. An alarming quantity of plastic objects end up in waterways, and ultimately in our oceans. The impact on the oceans is dire. According to The Center for Biological Diversity:
Not one square mile of surface ocean anywhere on earth is free of plastic pollution
Nearly 700 species that eat and get caught in plastic litter
At current rates plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.
We need to act now to slow the flow of plastic objects into the ocean. One way to do this is by, when possible, purchasing non-plastic products for the things you need. The World Wildlife Fund has also listed these other great suggestions that everyone can do to help prevent ocean plastic polution:
- Plan ahead. Keep a water bottle or reusable coffee mug with you, have your own utensils for on-the-go meals, and carry a reusable shopping bag.
- Donate unwanted plastic items such as furniture and dishware to local charities, or offer them online to your local freecycle program, instead of trashing them.
- Use and reuse plastic as long as you can, then get creative and reuse it for something else!
- Recycle smart. In the US we recycle only 9% of the plastic we use. We can do better! Find out which plastics your town’s recycling system accepts, and make sure you recycle them.
- Clean up your neighborhood. Every piece of plastic you pick up is one less piece in nature.
- Look at labels and packaging. Try to choose items packed in materials that are accepted at your local recycling center.
- Advocate for change. Support companies that are working to solve the plastics crisis. Petition your local government for better recycling capabilities, strict regulations on waste disposal, and initiatives to cut plastic use.
You can read more about ocean plastic pollution at the Center for Biological Diversity and the World Wildlife Fund.