Recent data reveals that in the United States alone, 2.4 billion plastic pieces from food packaging contaminate recycling facilities. Once these facilities are contaminated, the waste has to be dumped in a landfill, potentially even ending up in the sea.
It has become evident that many people still do not fully grasp the core concept of recycling, as one of the most common food packaging materials has become the seventh most prevalent waste collected during the 2022 cleanups worldwide. The WTF campaign highlights exactly that, launched in line with the 38th International Coastal Cleanup, 2023.
Colloquially referred to as ‘Styrofoam’, food packaging material is considered convenient for takeaway food. Shockingly, ‘Styrofoam’ topped the list as the most abundant waste collected during cleanups in 2022, surpassing the previous ten years of cleanup efforts. Moreover, due to the lack of widespread education on recycling guidelines, a significant portion of the American population attempts to recycle this disposable material.
In response to this alarming issue, the “What the Foam” campaign has been launched with the aim of nationwide banning of all plastic foam. By now, nearly every person has encountered discarded plastic, and it has become a frequent and frustrating sight.
Single-use plastic foam food ware is some of the most common trash on our beaches and in waterways, and tiny plastic foam pieces are even more inescapable. It’s obvious that we don’t need plastic foam food ware – that’s why it’s already been banned in 10 states and many countries. It’s time for the U.S. to follow suit: Ocean Conservancy is urging Americans to say, ‘What The Foam’ to Congress, and help us eliminate this material for good – Nick Mallos, Vice President of Ocean Plastics at Ocean Conservancy.
The International Coastal Cleanup is a global initiative that unites individuals who are passionate about making a positive impact by removing trash from beaches, waterways, rivers, and various other water bodies. In 2022, this collective effort resulted in the collection of over 3,600 tonnes of waste by nearly 470,000 volunteers from around the world. The global cleanup for 2023 is scheduled to take place throughout the month of September.
Ocean Conservancy is dedicated to improving the condition of our oceans, with a focus on promoting the well-being of marine and aquatic life and ensuring the sustainability of ecosystems for future generations. Its primary objectives are to protect oceans from anthropogenic processes and address key global challenges.
In the face of the alarming projection that plastic pollution will double in the next decade, Ocean Conservancy actively works to mitigate this impact. They achieve this by exerting pressure on governments to update their regulations regarding disposable waste and enforce them. Additionally, they raise awareness among the general public about the detrimental effects of climate change on marine environments and advocate for further legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions, thereby slowing down the rate of climate change.
To take part in the International Coastal Cleanup, and have your cleanup success charted with other volunteers in the world follow: SignupToCleanup.org
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