As many sailors know, our oceans, lakes, rivers, and coasts are littered with plastic. In fact, 8 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean from land every year. That’s enough to cover every coastline on earth and is equal to 1.5 million cars. Plastic pollution also creates 13 billion dollars of damage to marine ecosystems in the U.S. alone.
BUT don’t get overwhelmed by the statistics. There is a way you can help fix this mess.
Marine debris impacts sailing more than any other sport. It destroys our playground, interrupts our racecourse, and kills marine life.
How can we stop 8 million tons of plastic from getting to the ocean?
It won’t be easy, but nothing in life worth doing is. One thing we know for certain – we need to stop plastic pollution at the source. Of the top 10 items found globally on beaches during the International Coastal Cleanup, 8 are plastic and are all single-use items likely only needed for a few seconds. This includes plastic beverage bottles, straws, bottle caps, grocery bags and food wrappers. If plastic is made to last forever, why do we use it to make items that are only needed for a few minutes. Along with switching to reusable items at your home and on your boat, we can join forces to work with our sailing clubs, local governments and even our favorite watering holes to get them to follow suit. The ocean needs leaders like you to stand up against plastic pollution.