Today is World Oceans Day, and this year's theme is 'Our Oceans, Our Future', with a focus on the threat plastic pollution represents to aquatic life around the globe. The world's seas not only provide millions of people with food and jobs, they are also the source of 70% of the planet's oxygen, much of the production of which begins with marine vegetation. There couldn't be a stronger case for doing more to protect such a critical resource.
Plastic pollution affects hundreds of different types of ocean wildlife, from massive whales to microscopic corals. If you eat fish, you've probably ingested remnants of the toxic plastic fibers and detritus that wildlife mistake for food everyday. 90% of all seabirds are estimated to ingest plastic as part of their regular diet. If the twin trends of pollution and overfishing continue at their current pace, there could be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.
The good news is there's a lot we can do on land to positively impact these threats. More than 80% of marine litter comes from land-based sources.
In honor of World Day, a few of us took the train to Coney Island this morning to pick up seaside litter before heading to work. What we collected consisted mostly of discarded packaging, straws, bottle caps, and bottles, the majority of which were made of plastic. This fact encouraged us to challenge ourselves to make the Noah office plastic-free for one week. To be honest, after looking around today at all the plastic that comes into our lives, we anticipate a glorious failure. We remain optimistic though, and whatever happens we know it will raise our awareness and bring us closer to being plastic free.
We encourage you to make similar efforts in this vein, and have a few friendly suggestions:
Whether you simply refuse a straw when your order a drink, or make the effort to eliminate plastic from your home, our collective actions can have a hugely positive impact on reducing the growing stream of plastic waste making its way to our oceans.