Founded in 2003, National Clean Beaches Week is held annually from July 1-7 to coincide with the 4th of July, the biggest beach holiday in America, and the most littered. In honor of our coastal home and the week of action and reflection, our Art Director, Kyrstin, depicts the mounting ocean plastic problem in this animation. Below are some statistics to consider, resources, and steps to take for Clean Beaches Week 2020.
Nine billion metric tons of plastic have been produced since 1950, a weight equivalent to 27,000 Empire State buildings or more than 1 billion elephants.
Eight million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, a weight equivalent of nearly 90 aircraft carriers.
By the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.
What simple things can you do to help change these numbers?
1. Use a refillable water bottle.
WHY? Plastic bottles make up ⅓ of all plastic pollution in the ocean.
2. Bring your own grocery bags when shopping.
WHY? Plastic bags take anywhere from 10-20 years to decompose in the ocean.
3. Avoid single-use plastics like straws, coffee cup lids, or plastic utensils.
WHY? 40% of plastic is single-use packaging.
4. Support companies championing the circular economy.
WHY? A circular economy is a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. In contrast to the ‘take-make-waste’ linear model, a circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources.
Want to learn more?
Learn how policymakers and industry are making a difference: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/news/4570-05-31-2020/
The Plastic Problem, PBS Newshour
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Plastic Pollution Coalition
The Ellen McArthur Foundation