Plastic Pollution Campaign
If you visit the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and find yourself unable to locate a single plastic straw for your ice cold beverage at the Scuba Grill, you should start getting used it.
On Monday, the Aquarium of the Pacific joined 18 other aquariums across the country, including two in California, in a campaign against plastic pollution by eliminating the use of plastic straws in the facility.
“We’re hoping that it can have a big impact,” says Claire Atkinson, a senior communications manager at the aquarium. “Collectively, these aquariums get 20 million visitors each year…We’re hoping it motivates people to stop using single-use plastics.”
According to the aquarium, over half of all marine mammals are impacted by plastic in their lifetimes. That’s because 8.8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year, which averages to about a dump truck full of plastic every minute of every day.
The Center for Biological Diversity based out of Arizona says fish in the North Pacific ingest 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic each year. They also cite a recent study which found a quarter of fish at markets in California contained plastic in their guts, mostly in the form of plastic microfibers.
The Aquarium of the Pacific, who’s received numerous accolades throughout the years for its conservation efforts got rid of plastic bags in 2011 when the city of Long Beach implemented its ban on plastic bags. And this week’s announcement of the elimination of plastic straws is not the end of their battle against plastic pollution. The aquarium is gearing up to eliminate all plastic bottles by the end of 2020.
“We’ve installed stations where you can refill your reusable water bottles,” explains Atkinson. “We hope this initiative will boost our efforts…to protect the ocean by reducing plastics.”
Aquarium of the Pacific | 100 Aquarium Way | Long Beach, CA 90802