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An estimated 33 billion pounds of plastic enters the marine environment from land-based sources every year – this is roughly equivalent to dumping two garbage trucks full of plastic into the oceans every minute. Tens of thousands of individual marine animals have been observed suffering from entanglement or ingestion of plastics permeating the ocean environment. Plastics are impacting everything from zooplankton and fish to sea turtles, marine mammals and seabirds.
Plastics never go away. Instead, they break into smaller and smaller pieces. Recycling is often presented as a solution to our plastics crisis, but it falls short. Only 9% of all the plastic waste ever created has been recycled.
To stop plastic from entering our oceans, we must reduce the amount of single-use plastic being produced at the source. Solving the plastics problem in our oceans will ultimately take concerted action from companies, governments, and advocates like you.
You can help protect our vibrant oceans and marine life from plastic pollution with Oceana right now.
Oceana helped to introduce in Congress the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act, the first-of-its-kind legislation to address the plastic crisis by significantly reducing unnecessary single-use plastics and holding companies accountable for their pollution.
Members of Congress have introduced a bill that would put a fee on plastic polluters. The REDUCE Act would set a per pound fee on the sale of new, or virgin, plastic used for single-use products. The bill would hold the plastic industry accountable for its pollution and help level the playing field between recycled plastic and new plastic.
Amazon has a plastic problem. In 2019, according to Oceana’s analysis, Amazon generated an estimated 465 million pounds, or 211 million kilograms (kg), of plastic packaging.
According to news reports, Amazon shipped over 7 billion packages in 2019 – roughly one for every person on the planet. The company uses so much plastic packaging that it would circle around the Earth more than 500 times if expressed in the form of e-commerce’s ubiquitous air pillows.
Amazon can help by giving its customers a plastic-free packaging choice. Right now, when an Amazon customer submits an order, they have no choice but to accept plastic packaging – plastics that could go on to pollute our oceans.
The Earth is awash in plastic pollution. Plastic has been found everywhere, from the deep ocean to remote mountains, in the rain in our national parks, and in our food. 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 is also a large contributor to climate change and produces pollution that disproportionately affects communities of color and low-income communities.
There is no place for unnecessary, single-use plastic in America’s most treasured places — our national parks.
Protect our parks by directing the National Park Service to eliminate the sale and distribution of single-use plastics like beverage bottles, plastic bags, disposable plastic foodware, and plastic-foam products in our national parks..