It’s in our homes, our offices, our vehicles, our yards, our playgrounds. The amount of plastic produced from the year 2000 to 2010 exceeds the amount produced during the entire last century!
While plastic has undoubtedly made the manufacturing, packaging and shipping of our goods cheap and convenient, it poses a significant threat to our planet.
The qualities that make plastic such an adaptable and durable product to use, also make it an environmental nightmare. Rather than bio-degrading, plastic photo-degrades - meaning that it breaks down under exposure to the sun into smaller and smaller pieces.
The result? Virtually every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists in some shape or form, including as litter on our streets and beaches, which ultimately ends up our oceans.
Each year, over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die from ingestion of, or entanglement in plastics.
The Rise Above Plastics campaign is a call to all surfers, beach goers and coastal communities to think about how they can make a difference, and prevent their ocean from turning into a ‘plastic soup’. Surfrider Foundation aims to reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by encouraging community members and local businesses within Burleigh Heads to reduce single use plastic products.
We encourage YOU to help address the global issue of plastics locally by reducing your own plastic consumption at home, school, work and within your community.
Ten ways to Rise Above Plastics
Here are ten easy things you can do to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment:
- Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
- Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq’s, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
- Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
- Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them. A great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
- Go digital! No need for plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
- Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
- Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
- Volunteer at a beach cleanup or Dune Care which are held frequently.
- Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
- Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to Rise Above Plastics!