Sep 10, 2017 | BY Frida Ongre
Paddlers, surfers, and lovers of all things water know best that the ocean connects us all. But they also know the sad reality that is the state of our aquatic ecosystems today. They experience firsthand the trash that collects on our shorelines, strangles our sea life, and pollutes the waters we love. The greatest of these offenders is disposable plastic that is thrown away after a single use.
Every year we throw out enough plastic to circle the earth 4 times. The devastating truth is that much of our plastic waste is not recycled or even sent to landfills. A significant amount of the plastic we dispose of makes it way into our nature, corrupting various ecosystems. 46% of the planet’s plastic debris has contaminated our oceans, covering about 40% of the ocean surface. This is disastrous for marine life – killing over one million sea birds and hundred thousand sea mammals annually. By 2050, scientists predict – with good reason – that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Plastic never decomposes; it just degrades into smaller pieces of plastics, which are popularly mistaken for food by sea creatures. Consider this the next time you have fish for dinner – because it might be served with a side of plastic. Particulate plastic also threatens the marine plants, which creates 70% of the oxygen we breathe. Aqua’s 1997 hit Barbie Girl says it best: “Life in plastics, it’s fantastic”– not if you like breathing.
We are drowning in a world of single-use plastic, killing our planet and us with it. It is a pest that is infesting our home, and if we don’t change the way we treat Earth and kick our plastic habits soon – we will pass a point of no return.
Starboard is committed to a #DeepBlueLife, and solving our global plastics problem. We want to see our Starboard community enjoy plastic free oceans, and we are invested in making that happen.
Everyday we work hard to achieve sustainability within the company and to inspire without. In our latest eco-friendly efforts, Starboard has put on a green suit of armor and delved into the war on plastics. We are thinking local and acting global – first by working to eliminate plastics in our product line and our daily lives, but also by advocating for the discontinuation of single-use plastics worldwide.
During the Protect Blue Conference and Green Surf Festival in Noli (which you can read more about here), Starboard had the honor of meeting many inspiring and open-minded people, motivating us to really push for change. Protect Blue was a source of inspiration for Starboard. We had pleasure of working together with several great organizations, collaborating on ideas and initiatives to phase out the excessive use of plastic.
Our most recent project – inspired by a 5 Gyres beach clean up and brainstormed with our Protect Blue family – is the Global Plastic Regulation Matrix. We have mapped out existing plastic legislations worldwide to show global trends and to prove that we don’t need single-use plastics in our lives. Check out the different plastic regulations around the world on the map or the matrix. Help Starboard in our effort to ban single-use plastic products – and share the message of global resolutions with your community.