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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: a result of Marine Plastic Pollution

Our Hearts Belong to the Sea, And It Needs a Good Cleaning

The largest ocean cleanup in history is about to take place at the end of this week and we couldn’t be more excited to see this finally happening!

BBGK Cosmetics is joining The Ocean Cleanup in their fight against marine plastic pollution! For the month of September we will be donating 30% of all net sales to The Ocean Cleanup.

Click here to shop and support.

 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch….ugh.

If you’ve been to a beach lately, you’re familiar with the problem. Trash washing up on shore, plastic bags and food wrappers floating around you while you’re out for a dip in the waves.

The truth is, the effects of marine plastic pollution are global, and go far beyond what’s floating on the surface. The impacts on marine life can be observed in at least 267 species worldwide. This includes 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species. Effects can be seen in fatalities from ingestion, starvation, suffocation, infection, drowning and entanglement (Clean Water Action).

Experts say eight million metric tons [of trash] are entering the world’s oceans every single year.

Something has to be done.

 

The Ocean Cleanup…Finally!

Now, here’s the good news: starting September 8th, The Ocean Cleanup is taking action.

The company is launching a multi-million dollar initiative to clear the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This “floating” island of trash covers 600,000 square miles between California and Hawaii.

This initiative involves a 2,000-foot-long U-shaped contraption that floats on top of the water. It will skim the surface of the ocean and trapping plastic and debris using an attached screen below, similar to skimming the surface of a pool. The plastic and debris will be gathered at a central point in the giant U, where it can be fished out and shipped back to dry land.

The Ocean Cleanup estimates they will be able to clean up approximately 90 percent of ocean plastic from every ocean “gyre” — huge circulating parts of the ocean where trash accumulates and concentrates in the swirling currents— by 2040.

The Ocean Cleanup

3D Render of The Ocean Cleanup’s U-shaped device.

How else can YOU help?

The Ocean Cleanup’s project will eliminate an enormous quantity of the world’s marine plastic pollution. However, the trash floating on the ocean’s surface is only a small percentage of overall plastic entering the oceans each year. Plastic is also found throughout water columns, on the ocean floor, deposited in polar ice caps, and elsewhere (Clean Water Action).

We can all follow The Ocean Cleanup’s lead, and fight to keep our oceans clean by doing our part on the home front.

According to Clean Water Action, most marine debris (about 80%) comes from land-based sources. This includes litter, trash and debris from construction, and trash blown out of garbage containers, trucks, and landfills. The other 20% of marine plastic pollution comes from ocean-based sources like discarded fishing gear, or trash dumped off of boats.

Experts suggest that one way we can individually make a difference is by tackling the root of the problem and educating the public about what they can do to help prevent trash from escaping into the environment.

 

5 ways you can help reduce the amount of plastic waste that enters the ocean:

  1. Reduce your Use of Single-Use Plastics. You know that new plastic water cup you use every day at work? Replace it with an eco-friendly water bottle. Another everyday item to avoid are plastic straws. Starbucks is already jumping on this train – they will be eliminating plastic straws globally by 2020.
  2. Recycle properly. Although this is an obvious one, it is crucial. Recycling single-use (and other) plastics that can be recycled will eliminate many of the types of trash and debris that easily blow away into the ocean from garbage freighters (i.e. plastic bags and plastic packaging).
  3. Avoid products containing microbeads. Found in some facial scrubs, toothpastes and body washes, microbeads have become an increasing source of plastic pollution. Instead of opting for products containing exfoliating microbeads, choose products with biodegradable exfoliants like oats, salt, sugar or sand.
  4. Participate in beach or river cleanup projects. If you live near the beach, lend a hand! Coastal cleanup efforts can also be made on a small or large scale – go out with friends and pick up trash for a few hours. Or, participate in organized volunteer events. For example, the California Coastal Commission holds its annual Coastal Cleanup Day, the state’s largest annual volunteer event.
  5. Stay informed and spread the word. Stay up to date on issues related to plastic pollution and help to educate others on how they can be a part of the solution. Bring a friend when you go to your next cleanup project. Or make sure to display your recycling bin prominently next time you host ladies’ night.

 

Keep track on the progress, launch and cleanup in real time at https://www.theoceancleanup.com/system001/

At BBGK, we want to be wild , beautiful and free, just like the sea! Let’s help keep it clean.

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