Tackling the plastics crisis at the source
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There isn’t a place on Earth untouched by plastic. It’s been found floating on the surface of the sea, washing up on the world’s most remote coastlines, melting out of Arctic sea ice and sitting at the deepest point of the ocean floor. It’s in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. Enough is enough. Oceana campaigns to stop plastic pollution at the source — by calling on companies to quit their plastic habit and urging local, state and governments to pass policies that reduce the production and use of single-use plastic.
Two garbage trucks’ worth of plastic
enters the oceans every minute.
The world is facing a plastic pollution crisis that is increasingly threatening the future of our planet. An estimated 33 billion pounds of plastic enter the ocean every year — that’s roughly the equivalent of dumping two garbage trucks full of plastic into the oceans every minute.
The problem is too big for consumers to solve. With plastic production rates increasing and the plastics industry persistently relying on inadequate solutions like recycling, we’re looking at an alarmingly plastic-filled future — unless companies and policy-makers use their power to change course.
We need companies to dramatically reduce their production of this everlasting pollutant and provide us with plastic-free choices, and we need policy-makers to pass legislation that ensures they do so.
October 14, 2021
California Enhances Protections for Endangered Pacific Leatherbacks
California designated the Western Pacific population of leatherback sea turtles as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). Pacific leatherbacks are the most endangered sea turtle in the Pacific Ocean with their population having declined 95% over the last 30 years. The added California designation will enhance efforts by the state to study, protect, and recover these turtles and their habitat. The CESA listing follows campaigning by Oceana and allies and recent regulations in California to reduce the risk of entanglements to Pacific leatherbacks, blue whales, and humpback whales in commercial Dungeness crab gear. The regulations also allow for approved alternative fishing gear that lowers the risk of entanglement, such as “pop-up” gear, to be used in areas closed to conventional gear.
October 8, 2021
Protections Restored for Critical Marine Habitat in New England
President Biden signed an executive order that reinstated protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England. The marine monument, which is roughly the size of Connecticut, is the first of its kind in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean and was first established in 2016 to protect vulnerable deep-sea coral and sponge gardens from destructive fishing methods. This monument includes diverse corals and sponges on the seafloor, serves as a nursery for commercially important fish species, and is home to critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. Oceana has campaigned for years in New England to identify and protect deep-sea coral areas from destructive fishing methods, while maintaining robust fisheries, as part of its “freeze the footprint” strategy.
October 5, 2021
California Laws Reduce Single-Use Plastic Waste
California enacted two new laws to curb harmful single-use plastics, which pollute our oceans and harm marine life. One of the new laws opens the door to refillable glass beverage bottles by removing requirements that prevented bottles from being preserved and refilled by beverage producers. This change will create new jobs while also reducing waste. The second law will require single-use plastic food and beverage accessories — including utensils and condiment packages — to be provided upon request only for takeout and delivery. This will greatly reduce ocean-bound plastic waste in California as discarded plastic foodware is consistently among the top 10 waste items most found at beach cleanups across the state.
September 17, 2021
Delaware Protects Marine Life, Coast from Balloon Pollution
Following campaigning by Oceana and coalition partners, Delaware enacted a new law prohibiting intentional balloon releases statewide. Balloons released into the air can enter the oceans where they can harm and choke marine life. Delaware joins Maryland and Virginia in banning balloon releases, which will help protect marine life in the region and the roughly 225,000 jobs in the three states that depend on a clean coast.
July 30, 2021
Orca Habitat Expanded in the United States
The Biden-Harris administration has expanded critical habitat protections for endangered Southern Resident orcas along the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. The new protections span across nearly 16,000 square miles in the Pacific. With only 74 orcas remaining, the Southern Resident orca population is threatened with extinction. Their survival depends on the abundance of Chinook salmon, whose numbers have also declined. This critical habitat designation will help ensure these orcas have clean ocean waters free of disturbance. Oceana continues to campaign to protect orcas, salmon populations, and marine habitats.
News & Reports
Around the Web
October 26, 2021
Source: Plastics News
October 19, 2021
Source: KPCW, This Green Earth
October 13, 2021
Source: Environmental Health News
October 13, 2021
Source: Earth Island Institute
October 12, 2021
Source: E&E News
October 6, 2021
Source: Mercury News