Refuse Single Use Plastic #RefuseSUP
Keeping the ocean clean is vital to life on our planet. Why the ocean? The ocean holds 97% of the Earth’s water, is responsible for 50% of our oxygen and feeds billions of people. It is literally our planet’s source of oxygen, food, and water. It regulates our climate. It gives us life. Together we can make a difference by making simple changes in our daily routine and sharing with others. You can contribute to combating ocean pollution. Refuse single use plastic #RefuseSUP while raising awareness about what is happening to our environment.
Think about your daily life and how much plastic you use. It is in our clothes, shoes, mobile devices, cars, homes, we literally can not live without this miracle substance, yet the shelf life of plastic is between 500-1000 years. That is a long time. Every single piece of plastic ever created is still on our planet. It is in a landfill or littering our environment. It is believed within the next decade our ocean will hold one pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish. Plastic is a people problem and only people can clean it up.
Single-use plastics, plastics that you use once and throw away, have a large effect on the health of our ocean and planet. Single-use plastics are plastic bottled water/beverages, plastic bags, plastic silverware, food wrappers, and even products such as face wash that contain micro-beads. We need to commit ourselves to refuse single use plastic #RefuseSUP Annie and her crew made it easy to bring to schools. Click here to find out how.
There are more than 5 trillion tons of plastic floating in the ocean and millions more enter the sea every year. It is accumulating along coastlines and in all 5 major ocean gyres. On the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX) cruise to the North Pacific Ocean Subtropical Gyre, scientists found there is 100 times more plastic floating in our sea today than just a few decades ago. People think the gyre is like a floating island of trash, but if that was true we could go clean it up. The reality is our ocean is like plastic soup made of big and small bits and pieces, floating both on the surface and sub-surface. This is because plastic does not biodegrade, it photo-degrades meaning it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. It is an unseen, hidden danger, altering the ocean’s habitats, being ingested by the animals living in the ocean, and making its way up the food web all the way to the greatest threat to our planet, us. Plastic has become eco-system wide.
Birds, whales, fish, and everything living in our ocean feeds on plastic. If a turtle eats a plastic bag instead of jellies, it dies. Whales have washed up on our shores around the world, killed by the consumption of plastic instead of food. One in ten fish has plastic in its system. Plastic in the ocean does not belong. The turtles, sharks, whales, fish, and every other animal in the ocean can not speak to tell us about the problems they are facing. We need to be the voice for the ocean and rethink our relationship with plastic and our environment. We need to refuse single use plastic #RefuseSUP
We are the stewards of our planet. Now that we know it is happening, we have to do everything in our power to put a stop to this crime on our environment.
So, what can we do? You recycle, right? You feel good about that…but numbers show otherwise. Only 7.5% of what can be recycled is in fact recycled. Nearly 90% of plastics are NOT recycled.* So the three R’s you know so well Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, need to change to now include three more Rethink your relationship with plastic, Refuse single use plastic #RefuseSUP, and Raise awareness. We need to be the voice for the ocean and for all the animals that do not have a voice!
Our ocean is a vital resource to us. Our three R's need to become:
- Rethink (your relationship with plastic)
- Refuse single use plastic #RefuseSUP
- Raise your voice and share with friends, family, your community. Share your stories as you participate in solving ocean problems #LoveOurOcean
How can/will you rethink your relationship with plastic, refuse single-use plastics, and raise awareness in your community? Tell us through #RefuseSUP
It begins with your commitment. What will you do to help our planet? You as one person working together with other like-minded people can and will make a difference together for our ocean.
Underwater Photographer and Filmmaker Annie Crawley is committed to raising awareness about the ocean through multi-media presentations; sharing her expeditions around the world. Contact us if you would like to bring her to a school, organization, or event near you. Her current campaign launched January 2016 100 Schools 100 Days Our Ocean & YOU!