Avoid plastic waste in the environment 1. Dump plastic According to one study, over eight million tons of plastic pollution end up in the ocean each year. “Confronting Plastic Pollution One Bag at a Time.” Environmental Protection Agency . Urge your elected officials to follow the lead of those in San Francisco, Chicago, and close to 150 other cities and counties by introducing or supporting legislation that would make plastic-bag use less desirable. Recycling helps keep plastics out of the ocean and reduces the amount of “new” plastic in circulation. Recycle Properly… You can support the adoption of such policies in your community. Our oceans are wallowing in plastics," said Gloria Estenzo-Ramos, vice president of advocacy group … … Go Reusable. Learn how you can help End Plastic Pollution. 1. Single-serving yogurts, travel-size toiletries, tiny packages of nuts—consider the product-to-packaging ratio of items you tend to buy often and select the bigger container instead of buying several smaller ones over time. You can simply go to the beach or waterway and collect plastic waste on your own or with friends or family, or you can join a local organization’s cleanup or an international event like the International Coastal Cleanup. Get a reusable stainless steel, glass, or bamboo one to use instead of wasteful plastic ones. Get Used to Not Using Disposable Plastics. Be sure to drink from reusable water … Vote with … And that amount is projected to triple in the next 20 years. 10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Pollution 1. The United States produces two million tons of tire particles each year, and we know very little about what they do to the environment. These organizations rely on donations from people like you to continue their important work. Lastly, microfibers are a major source of plastic pollution in the ocean. Will Shifting to Reusable Straws Really Make a Difference? Here are just a few alternatives to commonly plastic items: Instead of using plastic water bottles, invest in a metal, reusable water container. We've made huge strides in keeping the things we throw away out of landfills. It depends—on you. Here's how you can take recycling to the next level—at home, at work, and in your community. Reduce Researchers continue to find new information about how widespread plastic pollution has become, but also how we can help stem the tide. 1. Wherever you live, the easiest and most direct way that you can get started is... 2. Only put your waste … Reduce Your Use of Single-Use Plastics Now they’re using it to bring international attention to the issue of ocean pollution. 1. The Gulf of Mexico Is Sending Out an S.O.S.—a Message in a Plastic Bottle. 5. (And while you’re at it, make sure you’re frequenting a dry cleaner that skips the perc, a toxic chemical found in some cleaning solvents.). Let that sink in for a moment. Haupt, Melanie, et al. Help remove plastics from the ocean and prevent them from getting there in the first place by participating in, or organizing a cleanup of your local beach or waterway. If you believe a company could be smarter about its packaging, make your voice heard. its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. Check out our top 10 quick tips to reduce your single-use plastic pollution today! Though we can make a difference through our own habits, corporations obviously have a much bigger footprint. It only takes a few times of bringing your own bags to the store, silverware to the office, or travel mug to Starbucks before it becomes habit. The Natural Resources Defense Council works to safeguard the earth - its people, Check out our top 10 quick tips to reduce your single-use plastic pollution … Plastic, of course, is uniquely problematic because it’s nonbiodegradable and therefore sticks around for a lot longer (like up to 1,000 years longer) than other forms of trash. Really. But here’s the buzz-killing reality: There are millions of tons of debris floating around in that water—and most of it is plastic. Hundreds of species of … Wean yourself off disposable plastics.. Ninety percent of the plastic items in our daily lives are used once and then... 2. Here’s everything you need to know about the most ubiquitous (and avoidable) kind of plastic waste: the kind made to be tossed in mere minutes. State Disclosures. Single-use plastics include plastic bags, water bottles, straws, cups, utensils, dry cleaning bags, take-out containers, and any other plastic items that are used once and then discarded. The important thing is that we all do something, no matter how small. Here are seven ways you can make a difference, starting today. In fact, scientists estimate that more than half of the world’s sea turtles and nearly every seabird on Earth have eaten plastic in their lifetimes. Solutions to Plastic Pollution 1. For more ideas and resources, sign up to join our Blue Habits community of people worldwide committed to joyful daily actions that improve ocean health. Avoid pre-packed fast food or dispose of the packaging in the waste bin.. 3. Plastic trash is entering the world's oceans at a rate of as much as 12.7 million metric tons a year. Tires: An Emerging Threat to Our Waterways, Our Seafood, and Ourselves? What Does the Plastic Bag Ban Mean for New Yorkers? Spread the Word Around 80 percent of marine litter actually originates on land—either swept in from the coastline or carried to rivers from the streets during heavy rain via storm drains and sewer overflows. Wildlife may also ingest it or get caught in it. Plastic permeates just about every aspect of our lives.And because plastic is everywhere, plastic pollution is also everywhere. Invest in a zippered fabric bag and request that your cleaned items be returned in it instead of sheathed in plastic. There are many small ways you can have a big impact. You'll receive your first NRDC action alert and update email soon. A massive volume of plastic garbage now litters every ocean on the planet, posing a growing threat to marine life. But solving the plastic problem can be as easy as getting your sweet treat in a cone. What you might not know is that the order of those words has meaning as well. NRDC’s Eric Goldstein gives the scoop on the latest environmental villain and explains why plastic straws really are a big menace to our oceans. It means... 2. Share. While we might think that the plastic we discard is being thrown “away”, in fact; plastic … Animals can get tangled up in this trash or ingest it—either because they mistake it as prey or because the plastic has been broken down into tiny particles by seawater. Darby Hoover, NRDC’s waste expert, says this “single stream” type of recycling is mostly about customer convenience, but the costs may outweigh the benefits. A new report estimates that around 700,000 tons of fishing gear are abandoned in the oceans each year. Brian holds a B.A. A chemical used in medical equipment could cause health problems in an already vulnerable population: preemies. It seems obvious, but we’re not doing a great job of it. Tiny plastic particles, called “microbeads,” have become a growing source of ocean plastic pollution in recent years. Take note of how often you rely on these products and replace them with reusable versions. Say no to straws, lids, plastic bags, and plastic takeaway containers. This plastic pollution doesn't biodegrade and can release toxins. 2. 4. Use sustainable metal "Zippo" … 6. facebook. Refuse plastic whenever possible. What Individuals Can Do To Reduce Plastic Pollution Make your voice count. In the ocean, plastic pollution impacts sea turtles, whales, seabirds, fish, coral reefs, and countless other marine species and habitats. The good news? Thanks for signing up. If you cannot find one or if... 2. 3. Jazz pianist Fabian Almazan started Biophilia Records to make great music—and environmental change. A study about solutions to plastic waste, published in the same issue, attributed the plastic pollution epidemic to a rise in single-use plastic and “an expanding ‘throw-away’ culture.” The researchers also found that waste-management systems simply can’t deal with the onslaught of plastic… When you sign up you'll become a member of NRDC's Activist Network. There's containers of balsamic vinegar, shampoo, hand lotion and juice, either in glass or heavy duty, reusable plastic. We all know the phrase reduce, reuse, recycle, and it’s common knowledge that these steps are generally good for the environment. Eight million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans each year, and it’s estimated that by 2050, the amount of plastic … Check out the number on the bottom of the container. Gaze Into This Reflecting Pool and See Your Plastic Self, Our Oceans’ Last Chance: Protect the High Seas, Plastic: What Gets Thrown in the Great Lakes, Stays in the Great Lakes, Her Stand-Up Paddleboard Is a Platform for Campaigning Against Plastic Pollution, What’s Happening to the North Atlantic Right Whale Is Just Plain Wrong. Dutch artist Thijs Biersteker’s kinetic installation puts the “I” in plastic pollution. Improve stormwater management by implementing stormwater and storm drain filtration and river mouth trash collection. REDUCE. Use Biodegradable Items. Reduce your own plastic waste. Everyone can do something to reduce the amount of plastic that enters the ocean, and millions of people worldwide are already taking action to reduce their plastic use. Ninety percent of the plastic items in our daily lives are used once and then chucked: grocery bags, plastic wrap, disposable cutlery, straws, coffee-cup lids. An Oregon community is making spectacular statues out of ocean plastic to raise awareness about a crisis at sea. In the UK, Tesco announced they will no longer make the thin “5p bags” … Read on to find out. And we're not just talking about people dumping their garbage overboard. Start Cloth Diapering. … Unfortunately, they also look just like food to some marine animals. How to reduce plastic waste? Here is a list of resources for legislative bodies considering limiting the use of plastic bags. Did you know that humans have produced more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic in the last 70 years (1) and 91% of which have not been recycled? Confused about what can and can’t go in the bin? New toys and electronic gadgets, especially, come with all kinds of plastic packaging—from those frustrating hard-to-crack shells to twisty ties. With skyrocketing plastic production, low levels of recycling, and poor waste management, between 4 and 12 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year—enough to cover every foot of coastline on the planet! Stop plastic pollution at the source. There's even a refrigerator with Häagen-Dazs ice cream in … This is one of the most direct and rewarding ways to fight ocean plastic pollution. You’ll save yourself a few bucks, too. Those little plastic scrubbers found in so many beauty products—facial scrubs, toothpaste, body washes—might look harmless, but their tiny size allows them to slip through water-treatment plants. Savitz says the most important move you can make to help cut plastic pollution is letting the companies you buy from know that you want them to use alternatives to plastic. The best way to do this is by a) refusing any single-use plastics that you do not need (e.g. Not only is it healthier, but making your own meals doesn’t involve takeout containers or doggy bags. 7. There are some products where it’s difficult to avoid a plastic container (for example washing up liquid or laundry liquid) – the good news is that there are an … It's also important to check with your local recycling center about the types of plastic they accept. Put Plastic in the Past. Five ways to indulge your sweet tooth and your spooky side without a whole lot of waste or frightful chemicals. Be a part of the global movement to improve ocean health. Opt for products with natural exfoliants, like oatmeal or salt, instead. Over 40 leading companies, government bodies and NGOs have joined the new Canada Plastics Pact formed to end plastic waste and pollution. So the best thing we can do to protect our waterways is try to keep as much plastic as possible out of the waste stream in the first place. Stay informed on issues related to plastic pollution and help make others aware of the problem. Single-use plastic items are... 3. There are steps to take to limit pollution. Support Organizations Addressing Plastic Pollution While soaking up the relaxing cadence of crashing waves on the beach, no one wants to think about how the ocean has basically become garbage soup. Scientists say the species could be functionally extinct in as little as 20 years—but there are some solutions within reach. So, what can you do about ocean plastic pollution? 1. Use refill stations for detergents. Avoid products containing plastic microbeads by looking for “polythelene” and “polypropylene” on the ingredient labels of your cosmetic products (find a list of products containing microbeads here). Thanks to the Mississippi River’s trash stream, the Gulf has some of the highest concentrations of plastic in the world. Reuse Golden Gate Sailing Cruise - San Francisco, Farallon Islands Wildlife Expedition - Sausalito, skyrocketing plastic production, low levels of recycling, and poor waste management, more than half of the world’s sea turtles, it doesn’t go away: “plastics are forever.”, reduce the amount of plastic that enters the ocean, 12 Grants Awarded to Sea Turtle Conservation Projects Worldwide, Travel is on the Horizon: Looking Forward to Trips in 2021, Update Regarding COVID-19 and Oceanic Society Expeditions, Field Notes: The State of the World's Sea Turtles with Roderic Mast. Pollution … And when you refuse single-use plastic items, help businesses by letting them know that you would like them to offer alternatives. While we’re on subject of single-use items, stop using them altogether. How Can We Stop Plastic Pollution? © Natural Resources Defense Council 2021 Privacy Policy This constant barrage (the equivalent of 136 billion milk jugs each year, estimates a study published in the journal Science) poses a serious danger to marine life. Over 60 percent of used … Our time is running out, we need to stop the plastic pollution at source. Now the good news: We can curb this. Write a letter, send a tweet, or hit them where it really hurts: Give your money to a more sustainable competitor. Look at how much single-use plastic your family uses by filling out a plastic journal for a week – then talk about what you can do to use less! Austrian students transformed trash into a giant whale sculpture. Containers marked #2 (HDPE; typically slightly heavier-duty bottles for milk, juice, and laundry detergent) and #5 (PP; plastic cutlery, yogurt and margarine tubs, ketchup bottles) are also recyclable in some areas. legislation that would make plastic-bag use less desirable, These Fanciful Sea Creatures Were Carried in on the Tide. California just passed the first statewide bag ban in the nation. Avoid Products Containing Microbeads A new United Nations treaty is bringing a once-in-a-generation chance to save our open oceans and all the life that depends on them. Is shopping online or in-store better for the environment? The words are in order of greatest impact in lowering your carbon footprint, reduce … There are many non-profit organizations working to reduce and eliminate ocean plastic pollution in a variety of different ways, including Oceanic Society, Plastic Pollution Coalition, 5 Gyres, Algalita, Plastic Soup Foundation, and others. We need to take control of the 10,000 tons of plastic entering the lakes each year—whether we recycle, reuse, or just outright ban the stuff. Carry a reusable bottle in your bag, and you’ll never be caught having to resort to a Poland Spring or Evian again. It pledges to work collectively … Lobbying companies that continue to produce non-recyclable plastics, or which are responsible for... Reduce the … For those times when you do order in or eat out, tell the establishment you don’t need any plastic cutlery or, for some serious extra credit, bring your own food-storage containers to restaurants for leftovers. Put it in a waste bin. Even small donations can make a big difference! Tell your friends and family about how they can be part of the solution, or host a viewing party for one of the many plastic pollution focused documentaries, like A Plastic Ocean, Garbage Island: An Ocean Full of Plastic, Bag It, Addicted to Plastic, Plasticized, or Garbage Island. Microbeads are found in some face scrubs, toothpastes, and bodywashes, and they readily enter our oceans and waterways through our sewer systems, and affect hundreds of marine species. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports. Not to be confused with eco-friendly items. This can prevent wastes such as macroplastics … Here’s everything you need to know before plastic carryout bags disappear from the Empire State on March 1. Instead of buying water in plastic bottles, invest in a water filter and reusable water bottle (s). Most beverage and liquid cleaner bottles will be #1 (PET), which is commonly accepted by most curbside recycling companies. The amount of plastic we dump into our oceans each year could stretch halfway to Mars. End Plastic Pollution… Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to ocean health worldwide. Straws really make a difference billion plastic bottles are tossed in the next years. 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