Plastic Pollution

Say No Thank You to Single Use Plastics

We’ve heard the statics about the terrible plastic pollution in our oceans—about 8 million tons of plastic entering the sea every year and if we continue at this rate there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. What we don’t tend to hear as much about is the plastic pollution right here in our backyard. 20 million pounds of plastic make their way into our Great Lakes each year. To put that in perspective, that’s the equivalent of 100 Olympic sized swimming pools filled with plastic bottles being dumped into our Great Lakes EVERY YEAR. It is killing marine life and polluting our drinking water source, not to mention putting our nearly $23 billion tourism economy at risk.

Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. The problem is that we have developed a “disposable” lifestyle based on the convenience of single use plastics. Approximately 50% of plastic made is used just once and thrown away. Sadly, less than 10% of all plastic globally, is recycled. The remainder ends up in landfills, incinerators and nature.

The issue with plastic is that it never really goes away it just breaks down into smaller pieces called microplastics, which are pretty much in everything—our drinking water (including beer!), our food supply and even the air we breathe. A recent study showed that on average, people could be ingesting approximately 5 grams of plastic every week—that is the equivalent weight of a credit card! Unfortunately, we’re just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of understanding the negative health implications of this.

The positive side is that collectively we have the power to make a change. We must use our voice to refuse unnecessary plastics, be selective in the brands and packaging we choose and continue to educate our legislators on the dangers of plastic pollution and let them know that we support bills (such as HB4500, HB5306 and SB701 ) that fight plastic pollution and help keep our state beautiful and healthy. Below are some additional resources and action items you can take to help in our fight to end plastic pollution.

Additional Resources:

Recommended Documentaries:

Take Action:

Resources for Children: