The earth is awash in plastic pollution. Plastic has been found everywhere, from the deep ocean to remote mountains, in our national parks and wilderness areas, and in our food.
Globally, humanity produces about 300 million metric tons of plastic waste each year. Of this, an estimated 8 million metric tons (about 17 billion pounds) of plastic enter the ocean each year, roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute.
Plastics are affecting every form of marine life from zooplankton and fish to sea turtles and sea birds. It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans, than fish.
Nearly 40% of the plastic produced annually is for single-use plastics and packaging—materials that are made to last forever but designed to be used briefly and thrown away. Plastic production is projected to quadruple between 2014 and 2050, greatly compounding the problem since a meager nine percent of all the plastic waste ever generated has been recycled.
#Hydrate like. OPS joined with Lonely Whale’s #Hydratelike campaign to focus on how we choose to buy, drink, and carry our water or other beverages to reduce the amount of plastic that we use.
Plastic pollution is now a serious problem in every corner of the Earth. And it is not just the plastic you can see—microplastics are now found in virtually every living marine organism. It’s estimated that there are more plastic particles in our oceans than there are stars in the galaxy.
Break Free From Plastics Coalition. As part of the Break Free From Plastics coalition, OPS is working to eliminate single plastic use in National Parks, ban new petrochemical plants, reduce plastic fishing gear in the oceans, and support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.
Curious Future of Plastics. Keep your eyes out for one of our next films currently in production that looks at the world of plastics and solutions to this global problem.
What you can do!
The next time you’re tempted to reach for a single-use plastic water bottle, fill up a reusable hydration flask instead. Together we can keep billions of plastic bottles out of the ocean. Hydrate like Louie!
Encourage your legislator to support the Break Free From Plastics Pollution Act which will reduce the production and use of certain single-use plastic products and packaging.