Why we are going Plastic-Free

Eighty percent of marine debris is plastic, and a whopping 8.8 million metric tons of plastic waste is dumped into the world’s oceans each year! Plastics accumulate because they typically do not biodegrade as many other substances do.

Marine debris on the Hawaiian coast

This plastic waste has reached every single one of the world’s oceans, and  harms an estimated 100,000 sea turtles and marine mammals and 1,000,000 sea creatures each year. Pelagic plastic pieces in the center of our ocean’s gyres actually out-number live marine plankton, and are passed up the food chain to reach all marine life.

Remains of an albatross containing ingested flotsam

We use single use plastics for just about everything, from brushing our teeth and showering to buying and storing our food and other products. It’s durable and lightweight, but it’s these properties that allow it to persist in the environment for hundreds to thousands of years.

A food isle in our local supermarket, showing just how much packaging is used on produce

Many types of plastic can be recycled, but much of it isn’t. As a family we have decided to stop taking it for granted, take responsibility for the resources we are using, and to encourage others to do so as well. We are aiming to reduce the amount of plastic entering the environment by giving up our modern lifestyle of convenience, giving up things such as pre-packed sandwiches, ready meals and drinks on the go. We hope to change people’s attitudes towards single-use-plastics,and to encourage people to just buy what they need. This Plastic Challenge isn’t all about living completely plastic free – in this day and age that would be pretty near impossible, but we are really hoping to reduce our plastic footprint in all sorts of ways. This blog will be here to help inspire others, to showcase our successes, and highlight our shortcomings. We can’t wait to get started!

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