World Oceans Day is on June 8, it is a global day for the celebration of all things ocean and a movement for a collaboration for a better future. Plastic pollution is a big problem for our oceans and although in recent years, people have started cutting down on plastic consumption, as we have realized the effects plastic pollution can have on the environment and our oceans. It’s not enough. Many are still unaware just how much plastic ends up in our oceans and how detrimental this can be on the environment. Most scientists estimate that eight million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year. Adding to the estimated 150 million metric tons currently circulating our oceans.
Although plastic is a useful product, many of these products are created for single-use. An estimated 50 percent of plastic used only once will be thrown away. In less than 10 years, scientists predict there will be 250 million metric tons in the ocean. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish. What is just as bad, perhaps even worse is that the plastic does make it into the ocean breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces known as “microplastics”, rather than biodegrading or dissolving. This poses a great threat to marine life including fish. According to the Ocean Conservancy, plastic has been found in more than 60 percent of all seabirds and 100 percent of sea turtle species
READ MORE: 10 Extremely Simple Things Anyone Can Do To Save Endangered Species
How can we fix this?
We have put together a list of ways that can help you reduce your every day plastic waste. This in turn help save the future of our oceans.
5.) Stop Using Plastic Straws
Plastic straws are really bad for the ocean. Over 500 million straws are used every day in America, and most of those end up in our oceans. This then pollutes the water and kills marine life. An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. Marine life that ingests the plastic will reduce their mortality rate by 50%.
Compostable plastic straws can be no better than regular plastic straws when they get into the oceans. They are designed to break down in compost facility conditions, not in sea water. That is why it is better to switch to paper straws, not compostable plastic straws. Shop for alternatives to plastic straws like paper straws or even metal straws. Eco-friendly reusable straws not only reduce your plastic footprint, they can be used time and time again.
Refusing the single-use plastic straw is the easiest and simplest way for everyone to take action today to address plastic pollution.Accept the challenge and say no to straws. And challenge someone else to #StopSucking. Even take it one step further and get your favorite bar, restaurant, or coffee shop to #StopSucking.
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