End Plastics

Plastic Pollution Is On The Rise This Holiday Season: What It Means For Our Oceans

The holiday season means more plastic and more pollution, and its consequences matter now more than ever.

A 2022 report conducted by the UN Environment Programme confirms that plastics account for 85% of total marine waste, meaning that plastics are the most dangerous type of litter currently harming our oceans. This can have drastic health effects both for marine species and humans. Plastic remnants can be found in the vital organs of numerous aquatic species and now in the placentas of newborn babies. Additionally, the report warns that unless serious changes occur, it is estimated between 23 and 37 million metric tons of plastic will be annually dumped into the ocean by 2040. Governments, NGOs, and concerned citizens incur significant costs from undertaking clean-up activities to remove the waste, as high as US $15 billion per year.

During the holidays, human plastic waste skyrockets. According to a report from Stanford, Americans are expected to create 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and the New year compared to the rest of the year. Annual plastic rises such as these are a consequence that we cannot afford. We must all make the necessary changes to reduce our plastic waste year-round.

Increased communal engagement to end pollution adds pressure on the federal level. It is a critical way to springboard legislation on a larger scale, and this pressure can produce promising results. In June, the U.S Department of the Interior announced its plan to phase out the sale of all single-use plastics in national parks and public lands by 2032. Progress represents the power of communal action, and you too can further the path to change from your own home.

EARTHDAY.ORG’s End Plastic Pollution campaign spreads awareness and helps people understand the individual actions they can take. We’re gathering petition signatures demanding world leaders sign a Global Plastics Treaty. We call on world leaders to:

  • Negotiate a new legally binding global instrument on plastic pollution, including measures along the entire life cycle of plastic
  • Promote a circular economy action plan and ban single-use plastic
  • Establish National Action Plans to prevent litter/plastics from entering our rivers and oceans. 
  • Enhance investment planning and stimulate innovation to prevent plastic from entering any ecosystem

Act now to preserve our communities, our oceans, and our planet. Together we can put an end to these dangerous practices, and put plastic behind us.