The ocean is turning into a plastic soup.
Most plastic pollution at sea starts out on land as litter on beaches, streets and sidewalks. Rain or over watering flushes that litter through a storm drain system or directly to creeks, streams and rivers that lead to the ocean. After plastics enter the marine environment they slowly photo-degrade into smaller pieces that marine life can mistake for food, sometimes with fatal results. Ocean gyres concentrate plastic pollution in five main areas of the world’s ocean and various research groups are bringing back alarming data documenting plastics impacts.
Simple local actions can help make an impact to solve this global issue. Join us in protecting the coast and Rise Above Plastics! Check out the resources on these ‘RAP’ program pages, and get involved with Cape Fear Chapter Surfrider to help protect the coasts and oceans.
Plastic—it's all around us.
It’s in our homes, our offices, our vehicles, our yards, our playgrounds. We use it to package food, bottle products, bag produce, make dinnerware and utensils, make toys….
Plastics have undoubtedly helped us to manufacture, package and ship goods more easily, for less money, and in some cases more safely than ever before.
But, plastics pose a significant threat to our planet as well.
Part of the problem is plastic itself. The very qualities that make it an adaptable and durable product to use, also make plastic an environmental nightmare. You see, plastics do not biodegrade. Instead they photo-degrade – breaking down under exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, into smaller and smaller pieces.
Bottom line: with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated, virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form.
Rise Above Plastics Mission
To reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.
Rise Above Plastic Grassroots Goals
We encourage YOU to help address these global issues locally with plastic reductions at home, school, work and for your entire community:
Connect with Rise Above Plastics by attending Cape Fear Chapter meetings or following ‘RAP’ on Surfrider Coastal Blog.
Get involved by volunteering with Cape Fear Chapter and/or spread the word to friends and family about the problems with plastics.
Be a leader
Be a leader and have the biggest impact by directing a plastic reduction program at school/work or a plastic reduction ordinance with you local city council.
Ten Ways To Rise Above Plastics
Here are ten easy things you can do to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment:
Choose to reuse
Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
Refuse single serving packaging
Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq’s, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
Reduce everyday plastics
Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
Bring your to-go mug
Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them. A great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
Go digital! No need for plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
Volunteer clean up
Volunteer at a beach clean up. The Cape Fear Chapter of Surfrider often hold cleanups in the local community.
Support plastic bag ban
Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
Spread the word
Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to Rise Above Plastics!
Reduce The Use
Go here to find more information about how you can help in our efforts to reduce plastic use.
Ocean Friendly Establishments
The Cape Fear has a long list of businesses and organizations that support our efforts to keep our ocean clean and healthy.