The use of plastics is widespread and while recycling helps, most plastic still ends up outside of the recycling system. Plastic pollutes our beaches and affects wildlife and humans through the water we recreate in and the seafood we eat. In light of this, the WSL pledges to eliminate single-serve plastics from WSL Championship Tour and Big Wave Tour events by the end of 2019.
The WSL is specifically targeting items related to food-service like bottled beverages, cutlery, and cups, as these single-serve items are often not recyclable. In addition, the WSL already provides clean drinking water stations for fans to refill their bottles and choose compostable materials where possible for food service.
Some facts that propelled the WSL to eliminate single-serve plastics by the end of 2019:
- Plastics break down into small microparticles that are ingested by marine life, ultimately entering the food we eat and water we drink. (Van Sebille, E., et al (2015). A global inventory of small floating plastic debris.)
- 4 to 10 million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year. (Angus Chen, Science Magazine. Here's how much plastic enters the ocean each year, February 2015.)
- A third of all fish caught in the UK and 83% of drinking water samples from around the world are contaminated with microplastic. (Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Scientific American. We Need to Kick our Addiction to Plastic, October 2017.)
While our partners help find solutions from the top down in the form of policy regulation and advocacy, we can all make daily decisions to reduce our consumption and make smarter choices on an individual level. Below are a few ideas to inspire your pledge to #StopTrashingWaves:
- Saying no to plastic bags and bringing your own reusable bag
- Avoiding plastic cutlery and straws and always bringing your own reusables
- Using a reusable bottle or cup, refusing plastic bottled water and beverages
- Avoiding items wrapped in plastic when shopping
- Choose bar soaps in place of liquids in plastic containers
- Refusing Single Use Plastic
- Voting to support policies like single-use plastic bans
At the rate we're going, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. It's a deep problem, but there are solutions. By cutting out single use plastics, such as straws, bottles, and bags, we can start turning back the plastic tide.
Make a greater impact. Join us and support our partners below for a stronger ocean:
- 5 Gyres Institute - https://www.5gyres.org/
- Lonely Whale - https://www.lonelywhale.org/
- Take 3 For The Sea - https://www.take3.org/
- Bye Bye Plastic Bags - http://www.byebyeplasticbags.org/
- Surfers Against Sewage - https://www.sas.org.uk/
- Sustainable Coastlines HI - http://sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org/