The tagline of 5 Gyres is “Science to Solutions.” Their research contributed to the US federal ban on plastic microbeads and their mission is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, education, and adventure.
5 Gyres offers action steps for reducing plastic consumption
- Bring your own shopping bag. On average, a plastic bag is used for 12 minutes, yet they persist in our environment for decades. Plastic bags are difficult to recycle and clog up machines, they’re lightweight so they’re easily transported by the wind and water, and they look like jellyfish in the ocean so they’re often mistaken for food by turtles.
- Buy in bulk. Packaging now accounts for 25% of all plastic manufacturing. Buying bigger helps reduce your plastic consumption.
- Wear natural fabrics. All materials shed fibers, which escape filtration through wastewater and can end up in the ocean. Unlike wool and cotton, plastic microfibers from synthetic materials like nylon and spandex don’t biodegrade. In cases where synthetics fabrics are unavoidable—think bathing suits—wash less frequently and by hand.
- Carry a reusable water bottle. Seven out of every ten plastic bottles are trashed. A refillable bottle makes good environmental sense and it’s good for your bank balance. Bottled water costs 2,000 times more than (filtered) tap water.
- Refuse disposable straws. Americans use 500 million straws every day, which aren’t recyclable. Straws end up in oceans, and kill marine animals. Plus they cause wrinkles.
- Go topless. Americans use more than 25 billion expanded polystyrene foam—better known as “Styrofoam”—cups each year, and many lids are made from the same plastic. If you forget your reusable cup, order your coffee without a lid. Go topless for our oceans!
Read more about reducing plastic consumption.