The Oahu Chapter is working to educate people about the environmental dangers of plastic marine debris and our efforts to reduce the proliferation of single-use plastic bottles and bags. It is estimated that in the North Pacific Gyre, 100 million tons of plastic swirl in a vortex of “toxic soup.” There is so much plastic in the water that in some areas it outnumbers zooplankton by more than six to one! This plastic ends up in the stomachs of fish, birds and all kinds of marine life. In fact, one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die globally each year due to ingestion of or entanglement in plastics. Although these petroleum-based products never biodegrade, they do begin to photo-degrade into smaller pieces, and then fish feed on the toxic micro-plastics. This is not only a tragic environmental hazard, but it also poses a dramatic human health issue as humans consume these contaminated fish.
The Oahu Chapter encourages its members and supporters to take the Rise Above Plastics pledge: Use reusable bottles for your water and other drinks (which will keep 167 single-use plastic bottles from entering the environment each year); bring your own cloth bags for groceries and other purchases (which will save approximately 400 plastic bags our of our landfills and oceans each year); and recycle the plastic bags and bottles you already have. The Oahu Chapter also supports a ban on single-use plastic bags or a small tax to reduce their consumption, and we encourage people to bring their own reusable tote bags.
More information: www.riseaboveplastics.org