Image via NRDC
TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEANUP DAY AND IT’S NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT TO TAKE CARE OF OUR OCEANS.
The National Geographic reported that “the largest effort is conducted every September by the Ocean Conservancy, which in 30 years of cleanups has collected 300 million pounds and more than 350 types of items.” That’s a lot of trash! Why bother, when new trash always appears on the beaches? It’s better than nothing.
2019 marked the first time in all event’s history that cigarette butts were not the top-collected item, say organisers. “Rather, it was food wrappers, with nearly 5 million removed from beaches and waterways worldwide. Of all the food- and beverage-related trash that ends up on beaches and in our ocean, food wrappers are uniquely challenging because they can’t be recycled and yet there aren’t readily available alternatives.”
This is the 35th year that Ocean Conservancy has hosted its International Coastal Cleanup and it’s presented some unique challenges. In light of the ongoing pandemic, the organization has expanded ways to save the oceans beyond its typical in-person beach clean-up.
Image via Ocean Conservancy
While you’re staying at home, it’s time to take stock of how much waste you produce from your food wrappers. Consider alternative ways to purchase food, including less pre-prepared food that often comes wrapped up in plastic, bringing your own bags to to the store, and reusing any packaging you can.
When you’re through with that, challenge your friends to reduce their own plastic food waste and swap your best tips and tricks.
While you’re at it, you can also make some calls to your elected officials if you’re in the US. Congress has taken on the issue of marine debris through the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act. The Senate passed the legislation unanimously, and now it is up to the House to pass the bill so that it can be signed into law. Call your Representatives today and tell them you want to see that bill signed.
You can also find ways to host a safe in-person clean-up here.
How are you celebrating International Coastal Cleanup Day? Tag us @thewardrobecrisis and we’ll share your most creative ideas. By Claire Kalikman.