National Aquarium Initiative Saves 13 Million Pounds of Plastic From Landfills

posted: 05/15/15
by: Danny Clemens
The National Aquarium in Baltimore
National Aquarium

Environmental advocacy organization 5 Gyres estimates that there are more than 268,000 tons of plastic floating freely in the world's oceans. Much of that non-biodegradable, petroleum-based waste comes in the form of single-use, "disposable" plastic products like grocery bags and drinking straws.

Baltimore's National Aquarium is taking a stand against the buildup of pollutants in our oceans by spearheading the 48 Days of Blue campaign, which challenges participants to make small changes in their daily lives that significantly impact the health of our oceans and planet.

The daily challenges are simple, but they have a measurable impact. For example, a recent challenge encouraged participants to skip the plastic straw in their restaurant drinks.

Halfway through the challenge, aquarium officials estimate that they've already saved 13,472,595 pounds of plastic from being thrown away - enough to fill more than 2,000 U-Haul trucks. They've also conserved enough electricity to power the average American home for 6 weeks and saved more than one million gallons of water.

"Everything we do on land has a downstream effect," said Eric Schwaab, National Aquarium Chief Conservation Officer. "By participating in our 48 Days of Blue challenge, we hope people begin to realize how simple it can be to improve and preserve our amazing blue planet for generations to come."

48 Days of Blue kicked off on Earth Day and runs until June 8, World Oceans Day. Click here to join the thousands who have already taken the pledge.

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