In celebration of World Oceans Day on June 8th and National Ocean Month, the Biden administration announced a series of actions to take to protect our oceans.

Source: Oceana/Youtube

The plan includes initiating the designation process of a new national marine sanctuary to preserve the Hudson Canyon in the Atlantic Ocean, initiation of efforts to create a U.S. Ocean Climate Action Plan, and the phaseout of single-use plastics in national parks and other public lands.

“During National Ocean Month, we celebrate the beauty and bounty of our ocean and reaffirm our commitment to protecting and conserving our marine environments for a sustainable future,” said President Joe Biden.

Phasing out single-use plastic products and packaging would reduce the procurement, sale, and distribution in 423 national parks, including 88 ocean and coastal parks. This plan by the government comes after a letter was sent by over 300 organizations and businesses urging the U.S. Interior Secretary to ban the sale and distribution of plastic foam products and other unnecessary single-use plastic items, including bottles, bags, cups, plates, bowls, and utensils.

A recent poll by Oceana found that 82 percent of American voters would support a decision by the National Park Service to stop selling and distributing single-use plastic at all national parks. 83 percent agreed that it’s important for national parks to remain free of plastic trash, and 76 percent agreed that single-use plastic items have no place in national parks

Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled. Around  8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year! 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion. 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove,  Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland and many more are banning various single-use plastics and others that are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.

There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using  mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

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