There are many companies, organizations and movements in place to ban certain plastics such as bags and straws to reduce the amount of plastic that is produced every year as well as to help to protect our environment and marine life. Every year 100,000 marine animals die due to ingestion or entanglement of marine debris, most of the trash causing the problem being various forms of plastics.
Most plastic bags can take up to 20 years to decompose and even then there are still small micro-plastics left that will never biodegrade. In those 20 years, it is likely that a marine animal will mistake it for food or accidentally become entangled in it. If every person in the world were to recycle even one plastic bag a year, that would be 7 billion plastic bags that never make it to the ocean where it could become lunch for a confused sea turtle who mistakes it for a jellyfish.
Each day, people worldwide use 500 million drinking straws. In 2012, Miami Beach banned the use of plastic straws from beachfront restaurants and hotels who serve plastic straws with their drinks. Even bringing a plastic straw on the beach could resort in a $50-$500 fine. While some may think it is silly to ban such a small piece of plastic, Miami Commissioner Jorge Exposito told Miami New Times he disagreed. He believed that at the end of the day, they were taking a step in the right direction to leave a better world for our children - and the 4Ocean Team could not agree more! With Miami Beach being one of the hottest tourist spots in the United States, these are millions of straws every year that are not being used and not ending up in our ocean where they are a threat to vulnerable marine life.
Right in Miami Beach's footsteps is California who has also taken a big step in eliminating plastic use. As of November 2016, plastic bags have been completely banned in the entire state of California. Proposition 67 was passed with 52% of voters voting yes to a state-wide ban of single-use plastic bags. This is the first of 50 states in the United States to take this bold step in helping to reduce the amount of plastic produced annually. The swirling mass of trash located right off the coast of California infamously know as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing every single day. Banning single-use plastic bags is a huge step in minimizing the amount of plastic bags that enter our oceans daily.
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