By 2025, there will be 1 pound of plastic in the ocean for every 3 pounds of fish — unless we make a change. Plastic in the ocean poses an immediate threat to marine life, but can also contribute to ocean acidification and climate change. Unfortunately, single-use plastics are everywhere you look, especially in the food service industry. These items, when littered, can be carried by tributaries and rivers all the way to the ocean. Even when items are recyclable, they will likely just be thrown away.
Due to its slow decomposition rate, every piece of plastic we’ve ever made is still around somewhere: in use, in landfills or in oceans. The only way to stop this trend is to reduce consumption and thereby reduce production of single-use plastics.
Many restaurants in Asheville have stopped offering plastic straws in response to this issue, which is an impressive step in the right direction. Straws, however, make up a trifling percentage of plastic waste, and real progress will take much more effort.
We can all do our part by avoiding single-use plastic. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store, use refillable water bottles and find “green” alternatives to plastic packaging.
— Luke Taylor