• keithhickman

Report: Plastic pollution in the ocean is reaching crisis levels

Plastic trash pollution on beach of Labuan Bajo (Flores Island).

DID YOU KNOW? It's time to talk trash.....China has stopped importing 24 types of trash as of January 2018, and it's caused a panic as to where to send all the trash we create on a daily basis. Have you seen what you throw out each and every day? China - which is currently focused on cleaning up its problematic pollution problem - was the dumping ground for more than half of the world's trash before the ban and, at its peak, was importing almost 9 million metric tons of plastic scrap a year. Imports of solid waste, which include plastics, paper and metal, fell by 54% in the first quarter of 2018. So where will this trash go?

More than 8 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans EVERY YEAR (that is one garbage truck full per minute). This plastic does not disappear....just last week an autopsy on a 30-foot beached whale found 65 pounds of plastic in its gut. Much of the fish we eat from the sea contains....plastic. What are YOU doing to cut back on waste? What are WE as an industry doing to cut back on waste? How can we all encourage more re-cycling and less waste?

Little steps can make a BIG DIFFERENCE. What can YOU do today?

FOR YOUR NEXT MOVE: use a re-usable plastic bin borrowing service like or rent plastic bins/boxes for your move, fill them up, move, empty them out, and then they are collected to be re-used.

What Can YOU Do Today To Cut Back On Waste?

  1. Try to use anything and everything that is washable/re-usable: forks, spoons, cups, mugs, straws, stirrers, etc. Often these items appear so minor yet they do MAJOR damage to the environment and are so easily avoided.

  2. Start carrying a reusable to go cup if you get a coffee or tea. Use a coffee mug that can be washed and re-used for tea or coffee.

  3. Use a re-usable water bottle or use a glass to drink water. Avoid plastic cups at all costs. Paper cups are not great either but at least they are biodegradable.

  4. Use a paper bag for shopping or a re-usable shopping bag. It's never too difficult to have a spare one on you at all times folded into your bag.

  5. Buy in bulk to minimize wrapping. One wrapper for 24 items is less plastic waste than 6 wrappers with 4 items each.

  6. Buy used furniture (antiques?) and move them with re-usable cloth protector pads.

  7. Limit your consumption of synthetic fiber clothing and fabrics. Synthetic fibers do not degrade well at all.

  8. Use re-usable containers. In your kitchen. For supplies.

  9. Cancel un-necessary mail or online orders that use excessive wrapping.

  10. Share this with others and HELP them become more aware of the issue and ENCOURAGE them to make the effort. Don't shame others, just help them become more aware. Most people don't realize how much waste they create.

  11. Be aware: the more aware you are every time you have the opportunity to avoid creating more garbage, the more likely it is you will say no to that plastic cup, extra plastic utensil, bag, etc. Remove the temptation to use something that you are almost certain to throw out.

  12. RE-CYCLE: the more the merrier.

  13. Take a leadership role and speak up: maybe you can lead the charge within the building or community you live in? What about your office? Help enact systems that encourage people to produce less waste and recycle.

  14. Composting: many items you discard could easily be composted and added back into your garden.  All it requires is a simple system/storage location for compostables.

In 2013, Americans generated roughly 254 million tons of trash and recycled and composted about 87 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.3% recycling rate. We can do better. YOU can help!

Have a great day!