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620 Park Street, Manitowoc, WI 54228

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Along the shores of Lake Michigan

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Plastic a People Problem


Plastic in the world and oceans is a people problem, which means people like you can help solve it!

It’s only together that we can protect our ocean from plastic pollution.

Help Us Change the Tide of Plastic Pollution.

Like most of you I’ve seen the pictures and looked on in HORROR at the videos.

Mountains of plastic and aquatic life swimming towards their death in waters filled with all our plastic waste. Plastic pollution is killing our planet! It’s choking our oceans, poisoning our food and water supply, and wreaking havoc on the health and well-being of humans and wildlife worldwide

There was a time we lived without plastic and it wasn’t that long ago. Many of us can recall life without plastic. 9.1 BILLION Tons of plastic has been produced since plastic was introduced in the 1950's. The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. Here’s the real scary part of our love affair with single use plastic. Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form.

I know, you’re probably thinking we’re doing a bang-up job on recycling, but you’re wrong; 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled. And since most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, all that plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the kind of legacy I want to leave behind when I’m gone. For instance:

  • 500 MILLION plastic straws are used EVERY DAY in America. That’s enough to circle the Earth twice.

  • Nearly TWO MILLION single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every MINUTE.

  • 100 BILLION plastic bags are used by Americans every year. Tied together, they would reach around the Earth’s equator 773 times!

  • ONE MILLION plastic bottles are bought EVERY MINUTE around the world — and that number will top half a TRILLION by 2021. Less than half of those bottles end up getting recycled.

  • 8 MILLION METRIC TONS of plastic winds up in our oceans each year. That’s enough trash to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full trash bags of plastic…compounding every year.

  • Think again; There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way.

  • If plastic production isn’t curbed, plastic pollution will outweigh fish pound for pound by 2050.

Picture a sea turtle. Perhaps a baby turtle, crawling across the beach to the ocean for the very first time, or a mother who just laid her eggs on the very same beach she was born. I can safely say, who wouldn’t be in aw, standing on the beach watching this magnificent spectacle. Some of you may even have this on your “bucket list” of life events you want to see before you die! These images should invoke the most beautiful emotions of hope and best wishes for these beautiful creatures and it’s likely that the shoreline or sea you’re imaging is pristinely clean, with crystal clear waters and miles of impeccably spotless sand, you’d like to just sink your toes in and stay a long while.

In the moment it took you to visualize that miraculous part of nature, an entire garbage truck filled of plastic will have entered the ocean.

And this happens every minute of each and every day.

The worst part? Not only is it disgusting and disheartening.

It is also a completely preventable problem. Plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles species, that mistake plastic for food. And when animals ingest plastic, it can cause life-threatening problems, including reduced fitness, nutrient uptake and feeding efficiency—all vital for survival. Warning, this video will be hard to watch, but this is the reality for our waterways and aquatic life.

I know you're asking, how can I HELP?

Here are 17 ways to reduce your plastic waste. Some of these are really difficult, so if you’re new to eliminating plastic, start somewhere and pick 5 of them you can commit to. Next year, chose 5 move and soon you’ll have all 17 accomplished and maybe think of more to share with others.

  1. Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw

  2. Use a reusable produce bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often!

  3. Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.

  4. Buy boxes or glass instead of plastic bottles. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard and glass, which is more easily recycled than plastic.

  5. Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging.

  6. Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.

  7. Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop

  8. Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use styrofoam.

  9. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter.

  10. Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. Plus you'll be eating fewer processed foods!

  11. Don't use plasticware at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your take-out box.

  12. Ask your local grocer to take your plastic containers (for berries, tomatoes, etc.) back. If you shop at a farmers market they can refill it for you.

  13. The EPA estimates that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded in the US each year. Use cloth diapers to reduce your baby's carbon footprint and save money.

  14. Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It's healthier and better for the environment.

  15. Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.

  16. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.

  17. Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor​.

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