Hawaiian Paddle Sports is Joining the Eat Less Plastic Voyage
Why It’s Important
According to a 2014 study by international scientists in collaboration with the non-profit 5 Gyres, there were 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons in the world’s oceans. Every year thereafter, another 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean. The Crew aboard the sailboat TODAY will be collecting vital plastic debris data in previously unstudied waters. We invite you to join them on this journey by making a financial donation (at any amount) which will help offset the enormous cost of this citizen science project. Research tools and materials, fuel, food, safety equipment, airfare, film crew and outreach materials are necessary to the success of this project and the end goal of sharing the research and story with school and community groups. Hawaiian Paddle Sports will match dollar for dollar the first $2,500 donated to this campaign.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Photo of marine debris
According to a 2014 study by international scientists in collaboration with the non-profit 5 Gyres, there were 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons in the world’s oceans. Every year thereafter, another 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean. Plastic is an amazing innovation. It has an incredible strength to weight ratio, high durability and is fairly cheap to make. Businesses and in turn their consumers want to make their money go further. Naturally, they choose products that are cheap and durable. The very attributes that make plastic so appealing, also make it highly detrimental to our oceans. It doesn’t break down and because it’s cheap, there’s a lot of it. The average American generates an estimated 185 LBS of plastic trash per year. Each of those plastics takes an average of 200 years to break down. That’s twice a human lifespan!
Where Does Our Trash Go?
Trash on Maui beaches
Straws and Sea Turtles
Plastic marine debris is harmful to our ocean inhabitants on many levels. We know plastic 6-pack rings get stuck on fish and turtles, inhibiting their growth or choking them. We have seen sea turtles with plastic straws stuck in their noses. A new documentary shows an albatross dying from a stomach full of impassable plastics. Humpback whales are regularly rescued from entanglement in plastic fishing nets. A recently deceased pilot whale when exhumed was found to have over 20 LBS of plastic bags in its stomach. Organisms on the ocean floor at depths of up to 5200 meters have been found to have ingested plastics. More recently, plastics are showing up on our plates in our seafood. Scientists estimate that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by the year 2050. Even if you do not consume seafood or any animal products for that matter, this statistic should ring an alarm bell for you. Micro-plastic presence in our seafood is evidence that the world’s marine animals are eating it. Though there are not sufficient studies surrounding the health effects in humans who eat plastic, we have a pretty good idea it is not great for us. Many people have heard about Bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA plastic. Some studies indicated this plastic used in for packaging can leech into the very food it is holding. Once consumed, the human body confuses it for estrogen, allowing it to interfere with the endocrine system. Full details on the health effects of BPA can be read HERE. Countless companies started switching packaging and advertising that their products were BPA free. Lab tests show micro plastics found in human lungs may cause an inflammatory response.
Sustainability in Hawaii
Aerial photo of crystal clear water at Olowalu in Maui
Photos of trash removed from the ocean during Hawaiian Paddle Sports tours
How to Reduce Plastic Waste
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Have a tip on reducing plastic waste that is not covered here? Tell us about it in the comments below. Mahalo!
We see plastic piling up on our beaches in Maui every day. We are joining the eat less plastic voyage to see what is out in the Pacific.