On Saturday June 9, 2018, during World Oceans Day weekend the March for the Ocean (M4O) campaign will take place in Washington, DC and around the country. Through marches, flotillas, rallies, and other events, people will be mobilizing to express their concern about plastic pollution and the importance of restoring and protecting one of our greatest natural resources—the ocean.
One of the key challenges being highlighted during the M4O is the overwhelming plastic pollution now found in our oceans. 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 People Are Marching
More than 150 M4O partner organizations have stepped up to promote a healthy ocean and clean water for everyone. This growing group of supporters includes environmentalists, scientists, surfers, boaters, divers, fishermen, artists, filmmakers, social justice activists, small businesses, major aquariums, deep-sea explorers, students, parents, teachers, and citizen activists.
There are several critical issues that M4O is bringing to the forefront:
- Stop reckless offshore oil testing, leasing, drilling, and spilling
- Choose clean energy
- Call for large-scale reduction in plastic waste that is killing ocean wildlife
- Protect and restore our coastlines in the face of rising seas and intensified hurricanes
- Ensure a healthy ocean and clean water for all living creatures
- Halt petrochemical, agricultural, and other polluted runoff that is poisoning our drinking water and coastal seas and putting our health and economy at risk
- Fund ocean science research
Ultimately, the march is calling for immediate action to build a healthy ocean for future generations based on equity, justice, and clean water for all. Please keep in mind that it’s not just about the ocean. All water bodies—lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, aquifers, etc.—are connected to the ocean. Protecting the ocean means protecting all the water on our planet that humans and all other living things rely on for survival.
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 is 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.
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:
March on June 9th. Join the hundreds of organizations, ocean advocates, scientists, celebrities and families who will march for the ocean. The national march will take place from 8am to 3pm from the Washington Monument to the steps of the Capitol. Sister marches are scheduled so far in Buffalo, New York; Boulder, Colorado; San Francisco, California; Tucson, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Cairo, Georgia; and Indianapolis, Indiana. Be sure to wear blue. Learn more.
Participate in a Beach Cleanup. So much of the 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
Skip the Straw. The average person uses 1.6 straws per day. Straws are among the top ten items found lying on beaches. Unfortunately, many more make their way into our ocean where they pose a danger to ocean wildlife. For most of us, straws are unnecessary. If you really need a straw, there are more, sustainable, ocean-friendly alternatives available. Paper straws or reusable stainless steel straws are better options. Next time you are out to eat, skip the straw and stand up for the ocean. Sign the Skip the Straw pledge now.
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.