“We will not offer plastics anymore!” – US Aquariums

US aquariums have embarked upon the eradication of plastics, proclaiming that they will phase out most plastic products – for example, plastic shopping bags, straws, plastic beverage bottles and cups – that had been offered to guests at the aquarium(IN OUR HANDS).

Every year, 8 million tons of plastic waste are thrown away and into the ocean all over the world(Jambeck et al. 2015). It is considered that the amount of plastic that is discarded into the sea will weigh more than the total volume of fish in 2050 if the production and consumption of plastics continue at the present pace(World Economic Forum 2016).

In total, 19 aquariums have dedicated themselves to this plastic eradication effort. This includes Monterey Bay Aquarium, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco, and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Los Angeles.

The aim of these 19 aquariums, which are visited by 20 million people each year, is to encourage their visitors take an interest in their own plastic consumption through the plastic eradication campaign.

They also want to eliminate the “consumption addiction” that is spreading throughout society and which comes from the manufacture, delivery, and sale of goods. They also encourage consumers to stop using plastic products in their daily lives by displaying exhibits related to finding alternatives to conventional plastic products.

Many wild animals are killed by plastic that has been discarded into the sea. Also, tiny plastic pieces are mixed into the salt that we usually eat(Karami et al. 2017).

These 19 aquariums declaring plastic eradication have already stopped distributing plastic shopping bags and also plan to gradually eliminate plastic straws.

Moreover, they are planning to eliminate plastic bottles by 2020 as well as reduce the amount of plastic used in their gift shops and cafe offerings, and they seem to have also reached an agreement with a company that supplies wholesale goods to the aquarium(The Mercury News July 10 2017).

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