You’re likely aware of the alarming and unprecedented levels of plastic pollution inundating our oceans each day. Annually, 11 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean and add to approximately 200 million metric tons of plastic waste already present in our marine environments. This wreaks havoc on the delicate ocean ecosystem and jeopardizes one of our most precious natural resources. For World Ocean Day 2023, join us at iSustain in reducing the volume of plastic dumped into the ocean through the use of innovative solutions to manage plastic waste streams.
One of the most dangerous plastics in our oceans is microplastics.
Larger plastics aren’t the only cause of concern in our waters. Microplastics, ranging from tiny particles to larger fragments, have been found in a wide range of marine organisms, including plankton and whales, as well as in commercially consumed seafood. One concerning aspect is that conventional water treatment facilities are unable to eliminate all traces of microplastics completely. Furthermore, in the ocean, microplastics can interact with other toxic substances before being consumed by marine organisms.
“Scientists initially assumed that the material was destined to float in garbage patches and gyres, but surface surveys have accounted for only about one percent of the ocean’s estimated plastic. A recent model found that 99.8 percent of plastic that entered the ocean since 1950 had sunk below the first few hundred feet of the ocean. Scientists have found 10,000 times more microplastics on the seafloor than in contaminated surface waters.” – New York Times
Microplastics are created when plastic waste breaks down.
Microplastics are the result of improperly disposed plastic waste breaking down. Improper waste management practices, such as littering, inadequate recycling systems, and illegal dumping, can lead to the accumulation of plastic waste in our environment. When exposed to environmental factors like sunlight, heat, and water, that plastic is fragmented into smaller pieces
By sending plastic waste to landfills, businesses are directly adding to larger plastics breaking down into microplastics that are then absorbed into the ecosystem around us. Shipping waste to a landfill has a heavy cost for your company financially but also has a large impact on this planet we share. For World Ocean Day, consider protecting the environment, your bottom line, and your public image by joining us to take advantage of advanced and mechanical recycling opportunities for plastic waste.
Plastic waste and microplastics flow through our rivers into our oceans.
Rivers act as natural conduits and will transport large amounts of waste dumped in them downstream. Frequently, this can lead to microplastics and larger plastic wastes being carried into oceans. On World Ocean Day 2023, also consider our rivers and how you can stop plastic waste before it makes it to sea. Not only is dumping a concern, but when it rains, water flows over the land surface, collecting trash and debris along the way. This runoff, including plastic waste, enters storm drains and is eventually discharged into rivers, which then carry it to the ocean.
Apart from avoiding disposing of waste in landfills, which can leak into our rivers, there are a variety of other ways businesses can prevent plastic from reaching our oceans. Our personal favorite is for companies to engage in river restoration, like our annual cleanups with Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves as the first Keep America Beautiful affiliate in the nation to focus solely on a river. Restoring and protecting natural habitats such as wetlands and mangroves along rivers and coastlines can act as buffers, preventing plastic waste from flowing into the ocean and serving as an effective way to mitigate plastic pollution.
Let’s work together to find a better solution for your operations.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to mitigating plastic waste entering our oceans. Instead, we approach each client with an open mind, tailoring customized plans to address their unique requirements and streamline their waste streams. Our plans encompass enhancing waste disposal and recycling program logistics, identifying inventive ways to reuse waste materials, and tirelessly striving to minimize the number of plastics and other recyclables finding their way into landfills and oceans annually. No matter the challenge, iSustain is committed to finding solutions that benefit both our clients and the planet.
Recycling just one ton of plastic yields remarkable savings: One ton of recycled plastic saves 5,774 kWh of energy, 16.3 barrels of oil, 98 million BTUs of energy, and 30 cubic yards of landfill space. Most importantly, by recycling plastics, we remove them from the waste stream that pollutes our oceans. On World Ocean Day 2023, know that together we can ensure a reduction in the number of plastics reaching landfills and oceans and fulfill our responsibility to preserve a healthy planet for future generations. Let’s get in touch!