Martin County has adopted a single-use plastic reduction strategy find out you can help make a difference. Shop local vendors that support sustainability practices, join advocacy groups with missions you support and most importantly incorporate reduction strategies into your everyday routine.
At present, global plastic production is equivalent to hundreds of millions of tons per year and is predicted to double within the next 10 years. Less than one fifth of all plastic is recycled. Approximately 40 percent of all plastic produced is in single use disposable plastics. These plastics include non-biodegradable beverage bottles, plastic bags, packaging, food containers and plastic straws. Each year an estimated 10 million tons of plastic enters the ocean mostly from land. This plastic waste stream joins the approximately 150 million tons of debris that are caught up in the word’s ocean currents forming massive collections of marine trash. Eventually, as the plastic is exposed to the elements, it breaks down in to smaller pieces that are consumed by marine life In place of food causing starvation and death.
Plastic waste can sicken or kill coral reefs by blocking sunlight from reaching coral or by abrading the coral and Introducing pathogens and infection. We now know that microplastic fibers have contaminated virtually all the world’s water and the health implications of consumption are not yet fully understood.
Plastic pollution that collects locally on the beaches, shorelines and waterways impacts the health and aesthetic beauty of our environment. Litter is costly to clean up and if left unchecked has impacts to recreation, tourism and to the economy. It is recognized that there are a number of local businesses, organizations and individuals that are taking affirmative action to reduce and eliminate use of single-use plastics. It is recognized that a collaborative effort is needed to preserve, protect and enhance coastal waters and to further support their environmental, ecological and socioeconomic value
One Planet Living encompasses 10 easy-to-grasp principles along with detailed goals and guidance. “Together, these provide a clear, practical route map to create a sustainability action plan for any organization that can engage hearts as well as minds,” according to the One Planet Living website.
The Blue Community Consortium seeks to protect oceans, coastal habitats and marine environments in Florida through implementing Blue Community and other sustainable tourism strategies. The Waves of Change Clue Community program is an opportunity for coastal communities to declair their own work to protect the oceans and promote ocean sustainability. The oceans are under increasing threats from pollution, overfishing, impacts of climate change including coral bleaching, acidification, and increased storm intensity. The Waves of Change campaign is responding to these issues with ocean clean-up programs, improving ocean literacy, supporting ocean champions, ecosystems restoration, and programs to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Unless policies for protection of the oceans and promotion of ocean sustainability are increased, coastal communities are likely to experience adverse impacts. The Blue Community program is a place for learning and sharing those best practices, which mitigate those impacts. It currently has 12 strategies in place to protect coastal habitats and marine environments: