It’s predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Approximately one in four fish contain evidence of ingested plastic. Most of the plastic waste in the ocean comes from the mismanagement of waste on land. The biggest culprits are single-use plastics such as plastic bottles, bags, and straws.
Each year, Americans generate 35 billion pounds of plastic waste. This plastic contributes to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an island of plastic roughly twice the size of Texas located between California and Hawaii. The Garbage Patch continues to grow.
Unfortunately, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is only a portion of the plastic problem in oceans. Since plastics don’t biodegrade, they break down into smaller microplastics that may be smaller than a grain a of rice. These fragments of plastic are difficult to see or remove and will therefore remain to float in our oceans indefinitely.
Several brands have recognized the tragedy facing our oceans, so they’ve created products and programs that help eliminate waste. Costa Del Mar created their Kick Plastic movement three years ago. The program helps fishing guides to eliminate single use plastic bottles from their boats. The sunglasses brand was “born on the water” and continue to find inspiration from the water. The company’s website states, “We want to be on it [the water], we want to protect it, and we want to inspire others to do the same.”
Efforts like those of Costa Del Mar are commendable, but consumers must also play a part in lessening plastic waste. Purchasing from environmentally-conscious brands like Costa Del Mar is one way to contribute to conservation efforts. As consumers, we can also make an immediate difference by committing to reusable products.
Products from brands like Yeti and Hydro Flask can help us withhold this commitment. Yeti produces reusable tumblers and bottles that serve as an excellent alternative to single use water bottles, coffee cups, etc. Hydro Flask makes great reusable water bottles, but they also make containers for your other favorite drinks i.e. growlers, travel coffee mugs and wine glasses.
While protecting the future of our oceans may seem like a daunting task, small actions can make a difference. You can make a difference through an act as small as bringing a water bottle to work each day. You wouldn’t want to swim in a pool full of plastic, so we shouldn’t ask marine life to do the same.
Costa Del Mar, Yeti and Hydro Flask products can be found at your local Elliott’s Boots, Shoes and Sandals or online.