2018 "Year of Plastic Pollution Awareness"
As long as there is plastic in my ocean, I will keep fighting!
Aquariums Band Together for "No Straw November"
Please note that while National Geographic did not credit our efforts as starting the No Straw November movement, we take great pride in watching how big our No Straw November movement has become thanks to all of YOU. No Straw November is all about building awareness and using your voice to make a change. We thank each and every one of you who has supported us and who continues to support us by spreading the message worldwide. Keep making waves 🌊
November 1, 2018
November is the month of not shaving facial hair, and now thanks to a new conservation campaign, the month of not using straws.
Branded as “No Straw November,” the campaign is a push to eliminate single-use plastic. The effort is led by the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP), comprising 22 aquariums in 17 different states. They're pushing 500 businesses to commit to only serving plastic straws upon request. Already, the ACP has worked with large businesses like United Airlines, the Chicago White Sox, and Dignity Health hospitals.
The No Straw November campaign is also lobbying cities and regional governments to pass ordinances that encourage businesses to use fewer straws. Individuals are also being asked to sign an online pledge to limit their own personal single-use plastic. The efforts are part of what ACP is labeling a joint “#FirstStep” to plastic-free waterways.
Earlier this week, the ACP, partnering with the U.N. and European Commission, announced plans to create a global coalition of 200 aquariums that will campaign against plastic.
"Plastic Fact" Named Stat of the Year
Great Britain's Royal Statistical Society announced its statistic of the year. It's 90.5%, the estimated amount of plastic waste ever made that has never been recycled. Estimated at 6,300 million metric tonnes, scientists calculated that around 12 percent of all plastic waste has been incinerated, while roughly 79 percent has found its way into landfills or become litter.
"Single-Use" Named Word of the Year
Collins Dictionary named "single-use" their word of the year in 2018, citing a four-fold increase in usage since 2013. The term means "made to be used once only" and refers to "items whose unchecked proliferation are blamed for damaging the environment and affecting the food chain," according to a press release from the dictionary's publisher.
Single-use is most often associated with the plastic pollution crisis. Some 40 percent of all plastic produced is used for packaging, much of it used only once and thrown away.
It's truly been an awaking for the plastic pollution movement, thanks to your efforts. Using your voice is helping to save our planet so that all of earth's inhabitants scan experience the true beauty of nature for future generations to come.
What's next? We are looking ahead to the next 111 days until Earth Day 2019 (April 22nd). Not only is that Jr Ocean Guardians official 3rd year anniversary, more importantly, it is also a day of celebration as Belize who has pledged to ban single-use plastic items including styrofoam pollution, and single-use shopping bags and food utensils. We look forward to toasting Belize with a glass cup on Earth Day!
A new year brings much optimism and promise. We all need to keep spreading the word on single-use plastic pollution and continue our awareness campaign. Here's hoping in 2019 the United States of America will join the European Union and ban single-use plastic by 2021.
The European Union officially bans single-use plastic by 2021.Plastic straws, cutlery and cotton buds will all be outlawed.