CURBING PLASTIC POLLUTION AT THE SOURCE
The oceans face a massive and growing threat from something you encounter every day: plastics. An estimated 33 billion pounds of plastic pollution enter the oceans every year, that’s roughly equivalent to dumping two garbage trucks full of plastic into the oceans every minute. The results are devasting for marine ecosystems and animals, like sea turtles, which often mistake plastic for food.
Plastic is everywhere. It’s choking our oceans, melting out of Arctic sea ice, sitting at the deepest point of the seafloor, and raining in our national parks. It’s in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. It’s also one of the greatest contributors to climate change and is disproportionately impacting communities of color and low-income communities.
Forty percent of the plastics currently used are single-use plastics – made from a material designed to last forever but used only for a few moments before being discarded. Unfortunately, one of the most popular solutions to plastic pollution falls far short. A meager 9% of all plastic waste generated has been recycled. We know that we can’t recycle our way out of this mess, especially as plastic production is expected to triple by 2050.
That’s why Oceana is campaigning to stop plastic pollution at the source – by passing local, state, and national policies that reduce the production and use of unnecessary single-use plastic that is flowing into our oceans, while also working with companies to move to refillable and reusable systems.
Oceana and our allies have passed policies that would eliminate the use of 1.9 million tons of unnecessary single-use plastic each year by 2033 (equivalent to about 190 billion plastic bottles), including many of the most common items found polluting the oceans.