If you haven’t heard, plastic pollution is real and it’s threatening the resources of the First Coast and around the world. You see, plastic does not break down or biodegrade. It breaks up into tiny pieces called microplastics that are polluting our world. Microplastics are now found in the air that we breathe, the water that we drink (bottled & tap), the rain that falls from the sky, the fruit and vegetables that we grow, the sea turtle babies in developing eggs on our beaches and more. It’s time for us all to consider our habits and choices and make changes to stop plastic pollution. This is a call to action for us all to make plastic-free choices whenever possible, choose REUSABLE over single-use waste, and to advocate for solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. With more plastic being produced every year, companies are increasingly pushing plastic-packaged products into consumers’ hands. It’s nearly impossible to go to the grocery store and buy a cart of groceries not wrapped in plastic!
Instead of reducing their reliance on single-use plastic and being part of the solution, companies continue to put the responsibility on consumers, pointing to recycling as the solution to the plastics problem. But we are smarter than that! We know that RECYCLING IS NOT THE ANSWER – its only part of the solution. Some of us keep buying or accepting single-use items with the justification that it’s ok because we plan to recycle them. Meanwhile, only 9% of the plastic waste ever generated has been recycled globally and 7% recycled in the USA! By 2050, plastic production rates are projected to be four times higher than they were in 2014. We are drowning in plastic! It is also estimated, based on increased production and consumption, that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans, by weight, by 2050.
If we want to keep plastic out of our oceans, soil, air and bodies, we need people and businesses to make a bold stand for the environment. We need more people and businesses to choose conscience over convenience and sometimes cost. We need policies that stop plastic pollution at the source – policies like the Congressional Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, which curbs the use of single-use plastic and holds companies responsible for the plastic waste they create. It’s going to take efforts from everyone including individuals, local businesses, national chains, and industry.
Please consider doing your part, even small changes can add up to big improvements. Support brands and businesses that are in line with your beliefs. Your choices do matter. Please join me in calling on our friends, family, local leaders, business owners and political representatives to support changes that ensure a healthy future for our planet and for generations to come.
Anne Marie Moquin
Founder, Beaches Go Green