Most of us use plastic every day, sometimes only once, and then we throw it away. It goes in the trash, which gets hauled off to the local landfill once a week. So why does so much plastic end up in the ocean?
According to the World Wildlife Federation®, there are three main ways plastic ends up in the ocean.
Blown Away – Debris often falls off moving vehicles or lightweight pieces of trash blow away in the wind, making their way to storm drains and eventually into rivers and the sea.
Illegal dumping – Some people don’t dispose of their trash properly and are careless about where they dispose of it. This may include disposing trash along public roadways or in vacant lots, fields or wooded areas. When people dispose of trash illegally it is just as likely, if not more, that it will end up in our oceans.
Drain pollution – Many products get flushed down toilets or washed down drains. Some are too small to be filtered out by waste water plants and end up being consumed by small marine species.
Unfortunately, plastics impact nearly 700 species in our oceans from microscopic plankton to whales. According to the Earth Day Network, 8 million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually and every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. Here are some easy ways to cut back on your use of plastics to help keep our oceans clean.
- Reusable snack bags – Plastic sandwich bags are most often used only once. Try swapping plastic bags with reusable bags. These reusable sandwich and snack bags are eco-friendly and dishwasher safe. Plus there is an ocean-themed design available!
- Silcone stretch lids – Replace saran wrap and tin foil with silicone stretch lids when covering food.
- Reusable K-cups – Replace your plastic Keurig® single reusable k-cups. After you grind your beans, fill the reusable k-cup and you are on your way to coffee bliss.
- Reusable bag with zipper–How many times have you been to the beach or a park and watched a bird attacking unattended bags of food? The wind picks up the loose debris and carries it to the ocean or storm drain. These reusable bags with a zipper are a great way to keep everything covered and contained when you are outside.
- Reusable produce bags – If you already bring reusable grocery bags to the store, it will be easy to add these reusable produce bags to your routine. Along with storing produce, you can use them for organizing other household items including toys, books, small sports equipment or laundry.
- Glass food storage containers – Swap your plastic food storage containers with these glass containers.
To do our part in preserving our waterways and oceans, Rubio’s uses eco-friendly packaging and printed materials throughout our restaurants. Our dishware diverts approximately 350,000 pounds of paper waste from landfills every year. And, we prevent more than 300 tons of styrofoam from reaching waste facilities each year by using compostable and biodegradable to-go containers that are made from molded fiber.