The Plastic Pollution Problem in the Atlantic

It is estimated that more than 8 million tons of plastic trash enter our oceans each year. If that is not shocking enough, this story also hits close to home. This plastic includes visible and micro-plastics which are dangerous to both people and wildlife. The most common plastics found near the shores include bags, bottles, caps, straws, and even flip flops.

Fortunately, we can do something to help. There are several small changes we can make in our daily lives which will create a big change for the environment. These include:

  • Recycling – It is estimated that 1 trillion plastic bags are thrown away each year, and of the 1 million bottles purchased every minute around the world, less than half of those will be recycled. Recycling those bags and bottles will help cut down on the amount of “new” plastic in circulation.
  • Skipping the Straw – As an example 500 million plastic straws are used each day in the United States. An easy fix to not using a plastic straw is to invest in a reusable stainless steel or glass straw. Furthermore, companies such as Starbucks are starting to get on the no straw trend, as they are now giving a 10-cent discount to customers who bring in a reusable cup. Some stores are also beginning to use paper straws which are less harmful to wildlife and the environment.
  • Keeping Our Coasts Clean – A fun and rewarding way to help cut down on the amount of plastic pollution entering our oceans and lakes is by volunteering for a beach clean-up like what we undertook on Keel beach. If you are interested in joining our next beach clean up please contact the team at the Achill Experience.