Monday, February 15, 2016

Community Spotlight - Plastic Ocean Project



As the purveyors of some of the most gorgeous real estate along the Eastern Seaboard, we take great pride in our community. That is why we strongly support the local and global efforts of the Plastic Ocean Project or POP. If you appreciate the natural beauty of our region and know as we do that it is irreplaceable, we encourage you to get involved with the work of P.O.P.

UNC-Wilmington is home to the first college chapter of POP. Samantha Athey is the chapter's current president. Last year for her efforts she was awarded the Lumina News 2015 Person of the Year award. The group is enthusiastically working within our local community to foster awareness and clean up area beaches, waterways, creeks and rivers. One of their biggest initiatives is to discourage and significantly reduce single use plastics. Those are items such as plastic grocery bags, restaurant utensils, cups and drinking straws. The Earth Day Network reports that, "Currently about 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities for people all over the world. Unfortunately, only about ten percent of this plastic is properly recycled and reused."

An alarming amount of that plastic waste ends up in our coastal waters and poses a direct threat to marine wildlife. POP notes that, "Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean's surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile." That is why the UNC-W POP chapter is spreading the word to local businesses in an effort to get them on board with the Ocean Friendly Establishments agreement. POP is working with the Surfrider Cape Fear chapter and Wrightsville Beach Keep it Clean to encourage local businesses to be more mindful of their use of disposable plastics. The biggest step right now has been identified as limiting the use of plastic drinking straws. Please use this link to discover which businesses are already on board: http://www.plasticoceanproject.org/ocean-friendly-establishments.html

Please join the Hardee Hunt and Williams team and together let's become more mindful of our beautiful environment. For inspiration, check out these 3 facts taken from POP's website:

An average US citizen throws away an average of 185 pounds of plastic each year.
A discarded one liter plastic bottle breaks down into enough small pieces to potentially end up on every mile of every beach in the world.
US residents use around 380 billion plastic bags annually-that is over 1200 bags per resident each year.

Here is the link to POP's website: http://www.plasticoceanproject.org/#/

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