June 8th is World Oceans Day, the UN-designated day for the global community to celebrate and take action for our shared ocean. One of the greatest threats to the ocean is also one of the most insidious because chances are it’s so mundane you don’t even notice it. Look around you right now: how much plastic do you see?
The ocean is downstream from all of us so no matter where we live, so we can all help address the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean. Each year a huge amount of plastic eventually makes it into coastal waters and harms ocean life. Many animals such as seabirds, sea turtles, dolphins, and whales die every year from plastic entanglement or starvation because they fill up their stomachs on plastic they mistake for food. Take action for World Oceans Day and prevent plastic from harming ocean wildlife!
Reduce plastic use . Help stop plastic pollution at its source! As consumers, we each have the power to reduce demand. And if you encourage family and friends to do the same, the more the more good we can do to keep the ocean clean and safe. Here are a few disposable plastic products everyone can reduce in our daily lives:
Plastic water bottles. Invest in a reusable water bottle, and filter water if necessary. Help the ocean and save money; it’s a win-win for you and the blue. On average, Americans now use 4 plastic water bottles a day—the highest ever recorded! Let’s turn the tide against wasteful plastic consumption.
Plastic bags. People use nearly 1 trillion plastic bags each year, and unfortunately, many of those end up ingested by sea turtles that mistake plastic for jellyfish. Remember to bring a reusable bag for food (including vegetables) and other shopping and save a life!
Straws, cups to-go, food containers, and utensils. Bring your own reusable products like mugs when you get coffee and take a pass on the plastic utensils when you get take-out food. And if you must have a straw, there a number affordable options!
Be aware of packaging. Pay attention to how much incidental plastic that comes with what you buy—your candy, headphones, pens, etc., all come in plastic packaging. Strive to cut down on your daily plastic consumption and reward corporations that package responsibly!
Act for World Oceans Day!
Hold a ‘Switch for the Sea’ contest! Ask friends and family to switch one of their disposable plastic habits for a sustainable, ocean-friendly one: such as bringing reusable food containers from home when eating out for your ‘doggie bag.’
Organize an aquatic clean-up! Head out to your nearest and dearest body of water with some friends and pick up all the trash you find. You’ll be surprised at how much of it is plastic.
Ban the bag in your town. Many communities around the world are banning plastic bags from being used at their stores. Learn how to start a campaign to stop plastic bags use in your town!
There are hundreds of events being held all over the world, find one near you and celebrate with a purpose this World Oceans Day! You can also go the extra mile and organize an event yourself using ideas and free materials provided at WorldOceansDay.org!