On Saturday, June 8, 2019, people around the planet will celebrate World Oceans Day. What will you be doing to honor and protect our shared oceans?
Plastic pollution of our oceans is an overwhelming environmental threat and has a devastating effect on the health of the oceans and marine life. Each year, more than 8 million metric tons of plastics end up in the ocean. That’s equivalent to one dump truck worth of plastic waste entering our oceans every minute of every day!
This is an issue that is close to our hearts here at Plaine Products. We began this company with a dream to have less plastic in the world. After looking around our bathrooms and realizing how much plastic we owned, we started thinking about how to change that, and how to make it easy for others to do the same.
By using aluminum bottles for our products, we are making a difference to reduce the plastic that ends up in the ocean. Unlike plastic, aluminum can be completely recycled without any loss in quality at a fraction of the cost and energy. And they are easily cleaned and sterilized, so our bottles are safe to use multiple times.
Why Plastic Pollution In Our Ocean Is A Big Deal
Plastic products last for thousands of years, and never fully go away. That means that every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists somewhere in our environment.
Believe it or not, we produce 300 million tons of plastic waste every year worldwide; 78 percent of which is not reclaimed or recycled. Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution enters our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that are already floating around. The Ocean Conservancy equates that to dumping one New York City garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day for an entire year!
All this plastic is harming the ocean and its inhabitants. From the smallest plankton to the largest whales, plastic impacts more than 1,200 species in our oceans through ingestion or entanglement. Sadly, we are seeing more and more evidence of this happening. It might be a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose or a whale entangled in a fishing net. The animals’ contact with plastic can make them ill or even kill them. In fact, plastic has been found in more than 60 percent of all seabirds and in all sea turtle species because they mistake the plastic objects for food.
Plastics don’t Break Down they Break Up
Another issue is that as the plastic pieces float around in the ocean. The sun and waves break them down into small microparticles, which never truly biodegrade. According to 5 Gyres, there are an estimated 5.25 trillion particles of “plastic smog” weighing 270,000 tons in our oceans worldwide. Each plastic microbead can be 1 million times more toxic than the water around it because they attract harmful chemicals. As marine animals ingest the plastic, these pollutants work their way up the food chain—and onto our dinner plates. Even humans are eating, drinking and breathing between 74,000 and 121,000 microplastic particles each year, according to new research.
All animals, including us, depend on the ocean for food and a healthy ecosystem. It has never been a more crucial time to save our oceans around the world!
You can help make a real change when it comes to plastic pollution in our oceans by taking these significant steps:
Join a March for the Ocean near you! Or organize a march of your own! On Saturday, June 8th, join with hundreds of organizations, ocean advocates, scientists, celebrities and families who will march for the ocean. Be sure to wear blue for the ocean!
Participate in a Beach Cleanup. So much of plastic washes up on our beautiful beaches. You can make a real difference to address beach pollution by getting involved in a local beach cleanup. Several organizations sponsor cleanups throughout the year including 4Ocean, Surfrider Foundation, Plastic Ocean Project and the Ocean Conservancy, which holds an annual International Coastal Cleanup.
Avoid Single Use Plastic
Make a pledge to reduce your use of single-use plastic water bottles. Join Lonely Whale and the Point Break Foundation in questioning How You Hydrate, a movement to end single-use plastic water bottles. #HydrateLike the ocean, the planet, and future generations depend on it. And make sure when you’re out and about that you refill your water bottle at a water fountain instead of buying a plastic bottle. Bottled water is taking over our planet.
Shop with Reusable Bags. Globally, one million single-use plastic bags are used every minute. Only one percent of them are recycled each year. Many of them end up in our ocean where they can harm animals and the ecosystem. You can make an impact by bringing your own reusable bags to the store.
Choose Plaine Products, of course! One of the best ways to cut back on plastic waste is to stop purchasing items in plastic packaging. All our products are plastic-free, so you know you’ll be doing your part to protect the ocean.
This post has been updated for 2019.