Photo by Plastic Pollution Coalition
Plastic is a substance the earth cannot digest. Every piece of plastic that has been created still exists, since the substance can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. In the US alone, we throw away close to 88,000 tons of plastic everyday, and it’s estimated that up to 12 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year.
Plastic pollution has already started to take its toll on the ocean. Over one million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed by ocean pollution each year. Even plankton, the tiniest creatures in our oceans, are eating microplastics and absorbing their toxins. This isn’t just detrimental to creatures living in the ocean, plastic toxins end up in our own food chain as we consume seafood that has been affected by the pollutants.
So how can we impact change in a society so reliant on plastics? Below are four easy ways you can help reduce plastic pollution, courtesy of our partners over at Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC)!
1) REFUSE disposable plastic whenever and wherever possible. Choose items that are not packaged in plastic, and carry your own bags, containers and utensils. Say ‘no straw, please' next time your order a drink at a café or restaurant.
2) REDUCE your plastic footprint. Cut down on your consumption of goods that contain excessive plastic packaging and parts. If it will leave behind plastic trash, don't buy it. Try shopping at farmers markets and bringing your own reusable bags.
3) REUSE durable, non-toxic straws, utensils, to-go containers, bottles, bags, and other everyday items. Choose glass, paper, stainless steel, wood, ceramic and bamboo over plastic.
4) RECYCLE what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse. Pay attention to the entire life cycle of items you bring into your life, from source to manufacturing to distribution to disposal.
Want to take it a step further? Click here to take the 4Rs Pledge and learn about other ways you can help ocean conservation efforts!
Don’t forget to spread the word about dangers facing our oceans, including plastic pollution, every time someone asks about your Clam and Clasp seashell jewelry, and share on social media using #SpeakfortheSea!