Rise Above Plastics
We all use plastics, we're all responsible
Few people use or enjoy the ocean as much as surfers, and few people are in a better position to take a leadership role in protecting it and keeping it clean!
The Surfrider Foundation’s “Rise Above Plastics” campaign was launched in Australia in March 2012, and is a call to all surfers and beach goers to think about how they can make a difference, and stop their ocean from turning into a “plastic soup”. Every little thing helps!
Most plastic pollution at sea starts out on land as litter on beaches, streets and footpaths. Rain or overwatering flushes that litter through a storm drain system or directly to creeks, streams and rivers that lead to the ocean. After plastics enter the marine environment they slowly photodegrade into smaller pieces that marine life can mistake for food, sometimes with fatal results. Ocean gyres concentrate plastic pollution in five main areas of the world’s ocean and various research groups are bringing back alarming data documenting plastics impacts.
Simple local actions can help make an impact to solve this global issue. Join us in protecting the coast and Rise Above Plastics! See what could happen if we don't... PlasticWhale
Watch the MANA KAI 'Spirit of the Ocean' movie exploring the relationship between humans and the ocean.
Plastic — it’s all around us
It’s in our homes, our offices, our vehicles, our yards, our playgrounds. We use it to package food, bottle products, bag proceduce, make dinnerware and utensils, make toys...
Plastics have undoubtedly helped us to manufacture, package and ship goods more easily, for less money, and in some cases more safely than ever before.
But plastics pose a significant threat to our planet as well.
Part of the problem is plastic itself. The very qualities that make it an adaptable and durable product to use, also make plastic an environmental nightmare. You see, plastics do not biodegrade. Instead they photodegrade – breaking down under exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, into smaller and smaller pieces.
Bottom line: with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated, virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form.
Rise Above Plastics Mission
To reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.
Rise Above Plastic Grassroots Goals
We encourage YOU to help address these globlal issues locally with plastic reductions at home, school, work and for your entire community:
Connect with Rise Above Plastics by attending a Surfrider Foundation Chapter meeting or following ‘RAP’ on Facebook / Twitter.
Get involved with your local chapter and/or spread the word to friends and family about the problems with plastics.
Be a leader and have the biggest impact by directing a plastic reduction program at school/work or a plastic reduction ordinance with you local city council.
Check out the Rise Above Plastics Activist Toolkit under the ‘Resources’ tab for detailed tips and ideas.
Ten Ways To Rise Above Plastics
Here are ten easy things you can do to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment:
Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq’s, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them. A great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
Go digital! No need for plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
Volunteer at a beach cleanup. Surfrider Foundation Chapters often hold cleanups monthly or more frequently.
Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to Rise Above Plastics! Thanks to Surfrider USA for help with this article!
RAP on the Web
Rise Above Plastics (RAP) likes to stay connected with our supporters as much as possible and we welcome your feedback and ideas. Here are some of the main places you can find more info and stay connected:
Check out Surfrider Foundation ‘RAP’ Campaigns across the USA HERE.
LINKS TO PARTNERS
- Tangaroa Blue Foundation
- 5 Gyres
- Algalita Marine Research Foundation
- Citizens Campaign for the Environment
- Clean Seas Coalition
- Earth Resource Foundation
- Heal the Bay
- Kokua Hawaii Foundation
- Save The Bay – The Bay vs. The Bag