Biggest corporate polluters revealed

Huffington Post, November 30, 2017

With no shortage of plastic waste washing up on our shorelines, there’s a reason International Coastal Cleanup Day takes place year after year. September 16th marked its 31st event with nearly 12 million people volunteering their time to be part of a larger effort to protect the ocean. Although a worthwhile endeavor, we need to be asking ourselves, what is necessary do to create bigger and bolder systemic change? Is it simply enough to know what types of products (plastic bottles, straws, bags) are ending up on our coastlines, but in fact, who’s responsible for creating them? Cleanups alone will never solve the problem of plastic pollution in the ocean. By incorporating data on branded packaging however, we can get to the root cause of the problem.

Since the early 1950’s, humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic, and almost every single piece still exists in some form to this day. Plastic, by its very design was built to last – it doesn’t biodegrade in a meaningful timeframe, but what it does do is more sinister: UV light breaks apart the chains that hold the molecules together and we’re left with microplastic that all too often ends up in our ocean, streets, and waterways, corrupting the very base of the global food chain.

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