Plastic Pollution Plagues World Beaches
By Romero Halloway
Those plastic straw bans are swell and all, but to truly make a difference on the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean, we need to collectively find alternatives to single-use plastics.
In 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) estimated 8 metric tons of plastic entered the ocean. That’s equivalent to the weight of 90 aircraft carriers - in just a single year.
The cumulative effect of all this plastic is being felt around the world.
In Honduras, the army was deployed to help clean up a wave of plastic trash on a normally pristine beach at the country’s spectacular Caribbean coast. This was just last week.
It’s the latest in a string of examples where beautiful stretches of coast around the world are being sullied by vast amounts of plastics, either in whole form or broken down into microplastics.
The Ocean Conservancy conducts an annual International Coastal Cleanup where it removes large amounts of plastic pollution from beaches around the world.
In 2019, it pulled 4.7 million food wrappers off beaches, the first time in history that cigarette butts were not the largest source of pollution. Regarding plastic bottles, their volunteers picked up 1.8 million bottles and 1.5 million bottle caps. It accounted for the third and fourth-largest source of plastic pollution around the world.
Plastic straws and bags, the focus of several bans in the United States, were farther down the list.
So, what is the solution?
Well, NOAA recommends reducing plastic use.
“Being more aware of how and why you use the plastics that you do is the first step to reducing plastic use,” the agency said recently. “Commit to changing your habits by reducing your use of disposable and single-use plastic items.”
For this trend to materialize on a massive scale, people will need alternatives to plastic.
This is where Littorary comes in.
Finding plastic alternatives through material science, mechanical engineering, and product design is what drives us every day. Our team is committed to making durable and sophisticated products that rival the convenience of plastics without the environmental burden. We believe technology and design innovations can revolutionize how Americans and the world consume products in a more environmentally responsible manner. Please stay tuned to our website, blog, and upcoming Kickstarter page as we unveil a product fully capable of providing the convenience and sustainability that will consign the concept of disposable plastics (and plastic polluted shores) to the garbage heap of history.