Ocean Plastic

With an estimated 8 million tons of plastic entering the ocean every year, plastic pollution has emerged as a top threat to ocean health.

Of plastic from land-based sources, 75 percent comes from uncollected trash and 25 percent escapes from the waste management system itself.

So what can we do? We can:

  • Reduce our use

  • Increase collection and recycling

  • Support businesses that recycle and reuse

  • Implement Earth-based policy solutions in local communities

  • Petition manufacturers to use less packaging, use recycled materials and share in the accountability to clean up plastic trash

An animated video about our ocean plastic problems from ELC volunteer Nayla Basma.

Have you read ELC’s blog yet on ocean plastic pollution? If not click here.

In 2013 Earth Law Center helped draft Santa Monica’s Sustainability Rights ordinance. Proactive and aspirational, the ordinance focused on the future to supports the creation of new laws to promote reuse, collection and aftermarkets:

  • Making smoking illegal removed one of the top items found in beach clean ups, helping keep cigarette filters out of the ocean.

  • Disallowing disposable food service containers that are not marine-degradable, and making disposable utensils and straws available only on request (which must also be marine-degradable) removes another major source of ocean plastic pollution.

  • Installing devices to catch pollutants – including plastic – before they enter the ocean from storm drains has also significantly reduced the amount of plastic trash going into the ocean.

Read our blog to learn more.

You can help by subscribing to our newsletter, volunteering, or donating to Earth Law Center.

For more information, contact Ocean Rights Manager Michelle Bender at mbender@earthlaw.org.

Image Credit: NOAA

Image Credit: NOAA