Go Green: Every minute, 1 garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans
It's Earth Day! All this week, News 12 is taking a closer look at the environmental issues that affect us.
Today, News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen heads to the beach to learn more about the plastic pollution problem.
Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world's oceans. That's about five grocery bags of plastic trash piled up on every foot of coastline on the planet. A new study from the World Economic Forum put it this way - every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. If we continue, it is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030, and four per minute by 2050. That would mean that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world's oceans.
So, what can you do?
- Give up plastic bags. Take your own reusable ones to the store.
- Skip straws. They now have lots of reusable options. Americans toss 500 million plastic straws every day, or about 1.5 per person.
- Pass up plastic bottles. Invest in a refillable water bottle.
- Avoid plastic packaging. Buy bar soap instead of liquid. Buy in bulk. Avoid produce sheathed in plastic. And while you're at it, give up plastic plates and cups.
- Don't litter. If you see someone else's trash, stop to clean it up. There's a social media challenge to get more people to pick up garbage called #TrashTag. In the challenge, users pick a local area close to them and head down to collect and sort out all of its litter. They then post photos on social media using the hashtag #Trashtag to inspire others to do the same.