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.
June 29, 2021
Oceana and Allies Protect Over 25,000 Square Miles of New England Deep-Sea Corals from Destructive Fishing
In the United States, NOAA Fisheries issued a final rule to protect over 25,000 square miles of deep-sea coral habitat in New England’s Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine from destructive fishing gear, following years of campaigning by Oceana and allies. The action protects centuries-old corals and fish habitat from destructive bottom trawling, which is like clear-cutting the seafloor. The area protected is roughly equivalent to the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, combined, bringing the total protected deep-sea coral areas in the U.S. Atlantic to nearly 86,000 square miles. Oceana continues to campaign to identify and protect deep-sea coral areas from destructive fishing methods, while maintaining robust fisheries, as part of our “freeze the footprint” strategy.
May 17, 2021
Washington State Bans Polystyrene Foam, Limits Ocean-Polluting Single-Use Plastic at Restaurants
U.S. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law that limits the use of unnecessary single-use plastic across the state, following campaigning by Oceana and our allies in the Pacific Northwest. The new law bans the manufacture, sale, and distribution of certain expanded polystyrene foam products, including foodware, packing peanuts, and foam coolers. It also requires dining establishments to only provide single-use plastic utensils, straws, cold-beverage cup lids, and condiment packaging if requested by customers. Finally, the law establishes post-consumer recycled-content standards for plastic beverage bottles, personal care products, home cleaning products, and trash bags. Many of the items this law limits or bans are unlikely to be recycled and often make their way into our oceans, where they can harm marine life and ecosystems. Washington is now the first state on the West Coast and the seventh in the country to ban polystyrene foam food containers, as well as the first state to ban foam plastic coolers.
May 1, 2021
Maryland Protects Marine Life from Choking on Balloons
Following campaigning by Oceana and coalition partners, Maryland enacted a new law prohibiting intentional balloon releases statewide. Balloons released into the air can eventually enter the oceans where they can harm and choke marine life. Under the new law, a person who is at least 13 years old, or an organization, cannot intentionally release balloons or organize balloon releases. Reducing single-use plastics, including balloons, is critical to the health of Maryland’s coasts and waterways and the 96,000 jobs in Maryland that depend on a clean coast. Oceana continues to campaign to stop plastic pollution by urging other local, state, and federal decisionmakers to pass policies that reduce the production and use of single-use plastics.
March 1, 2021
Virginia Protects Oceans from Polystyrene Foam and Balloon Pollution
U.S. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed two bills into law to reduce plastic pollution across the state. The laws prohibit the use of polystyrene foam for food service containers, including takeout boxes and cups, and ban the intentional release of balloons into the environment. Both polystyrene foam and balloons contribute to the 33 billion pounds of plastic entering our oceans every year. A 2021 report by Virginia Clean Waterways found that balloons are among the deadliest and most common types of marine debris found on Virginia’s beaches. The governor’s action follows campaigning by Oceana to stop plastic pollution at the source by urging local, state, and federal decisionmakers to pass policies that reduce the production and use of single-use plastics.
November 16, 2020
Measures Taken on U.S. West Coast to Save Critically Endangered Orcas from Extinction
For the first time, the Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted ocean salmon fishing regulations to help save critically endangered Southern Resident orcas from extinction. Only 75 of these orcas remain, and their survival relies on the abundance of their preferred prey, Chinook salmon. Sixteen Southern Resident orcas have died since 2015, some showing signs of malnutrition and starvation. Chinook salmon populations are also struggling due to a combination of fishing pressure, habitat loss, and dams that obstruct spawning. Oceana and our allies campaigned for the new measures, which include fishing reductions and area closures if Chinook salmon numbers off the coast of Washington and Northern Oregon drop below 966,000. This will help ensure that Southern Resident orcas have enough salmon to eat.
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