Rise Above Plastics

Rise Above Plastics Mission
To reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.

Links:
Rise Above Plastics
Surfrider – Rise Above Plastics

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:

1. Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water.
2. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
3. 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.
4. Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
5. Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them. A great wat to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Volunteer at a beach cleanup. Surfrider Maine often holds cleanups monthly or more frequently.
9. Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
10. Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to Rise Above Plastics!

There are many urgent reasons to reduce our consumption of single use plastics. Plastics are the major source of marine pollution worldwide and the main ingredient of our landfills.

Minimizing our use of paper and plastic bags will help protect the environment, curb climate change and help to reform a disposable minded society.

A few facts about plastics

In the United States alone over 100 billion single use plastic bags are given out by retailers every year, at a cost to retailers of $4 billion.

The production of these bags requires the equivalent of 12 million barrels of oil per year.

Plastic bags remain toxic even after they break down.

Plastics do not biodegrade, but instead break down into smaller and smaller particles. These plastic particles not only persist in the ocean, but they absorb the toxins from the ocean and are then eaten by fish, sea birds and other marine life. These particles are absorbed into the food web, and over 100,000 marine mammals and turtles die each year because they eat, swallow, or get tangled up in plastics.

Every square mile of ocean has about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.

Less than 5% of plastic bags are ever recycled.

More than 3.5 million tons of plastics were discarded in 2008.

The amount of plastic produced from 2000 – 2010 exceeds the amount produced during the entire last century.

Plastic is the most common type of marine litter worldwide.

In 2009 The UN called for a world wide ban on single use plastic bags.

More information here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VrrxMIiwgQ
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/facing_the_dirty_truth_about_recycled_plastics/2400/
http://chrisjordan.com/gallery/midway/#about
http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/stories/liambartlett/598914/seas-of-shame

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