Plastic-based pollution is being attacked by U.S. aquariums, who have joined together to create the new Aquarium Conservation Partnership, as reported on July 10, 2017, on PR Newswire. The partnership aims to stop plastic that is polluting major waterways and severely threatening marine animals.
The aquariums have joined to begin a national campaign, aimed at consumers, to curb the use by their visitors of plastic items. The goal is to enlighten visitors about the threat that single-use plastic items can have on the ocean and freshwater animals. By utilizing the new national “In Our Hands” campaign the ACP intends to educate, and encourage, the millions of aquarium visitors to use alternatives.
As explained by Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium:
We’re just beginning to understand the full impacts of ocean plastic pollution on ecosystems, marine life, and human health. But we already know enough to say that now is the time to act.
In support of the anti-pollution initiative, the aquariums are eliminating single-use plastic products at their own facilities. As of Monday, July 10, plastic items such as straws and shopping bags, will no longer be used in the participating aquariums. In addition, they have vowed to remove the use of plastic beverage containers by December 2020 and to present inventive substitutions for single-use plastic items.
The effects of plastic pollution go beyond the 8.8 million tons that land in the world’s oceans waters every year. Lakes and rivers have seen just as much, if not more. Twenty-one percent of the Earth’s freshwater supply is made up of the Great Lakes and in Lake Michigan, it has been estimated that there are one billion plastic elements of pollution floating on its surface.
A campaign website is being used to alert people about how they can make changes in their daily behavior to combat this major threat. It has been determined that American use roughly 200 pounds of plastic throw-away items per person a year. Without any changes to rid the pollution, it has been approximated that by 2025 the amount of plastic in the waterways will double.
Written by Carol Ruth Weber
Edited by Cathy Milne
PR Newswire: Nineteen Top US Aquariums Join Forces To Tackle Growing Plastic Pollution Threat Facing Ocean, Rivers, Great Lakes
Image Courtesy of Carol Ruth Weber – Used With Permission