WASHINGTON (May 16, 2018)— As the amount of single-use plastic in the world’s oceans continues to grow, National Geographic is announcing a new, global commitment to tackle this pressing problem. Today, National Geographic is launching Planet or Plastic?, a multiyear initiative aimed at raising awareness of this challenge and reducing the amount of single-use plastic that enters in the world’s oceans. Doing so will not only benefit the thousands to potentially millions of marine animals that become entangled in, suffocated by, or ingest plastic each year, but will also contribute to the overall health of the planet’s marine ecosystems and all who rely upon them.
Today’s guest blog comes from Jason Paul, who is a paddling enthusiast and lifelong lover of the sea. Jason is the lead editor of InflatableBoarder.com and lives in beautiful Panama with his wife and two small children.
Despite nationwide legislation to eliminate plastic bags from our daily existence here in the United States, our oceans are still feeling the choking effects of paper-thin plastic. States like California, Hawaii, and Florida have all introduced new legislation either banning or applying fees to the use of plastic bags, and many individuals and organizations are doing everything they can think of to raise awareness on this issue. Unfortunately, plastic pollution is a global epidemic and national legislation and local initiatives are only a drop in the bucket in comparison to the massive global problem of plastic bag usage. It’s estimated that nearly one trillion bags are used each year around the globe — a staggering figure by anyone’s standards.