The Plastics Project
Rise Up Radio
The Plastics Project Needs Your Help!
We Need a Change Project!
To collect all plastic and styrofoam waste used by each child or student individually for a full week to show our city councilmen how much single-use plastics kids use and how unavoidable using them is for kids because of manufacturer’s packaging.
Who is Involved:
We are asking for kid volunteers of all ages up to 17 years old to help us with this project
Our goal is for our leaders to be able to have a real visual on how much single use plastic is used in just one week and how kids don’t really have a choice in using more eco-friendly options because of what is available to us. Implementing bans on plastics forces manufacturers to rethink the way they are packaging their products and creates a change that our generation needs.
What will we do with the trash?
We will take photos of each student’s week worth of trash to create visual aids and to share on social media. We will keep the trash sorted out per student in individual bags and everything will be brought with us to the next hearing involving plastic and styrofoam bans at the state capitol to be used in The Plastics Project’s testimony.
Label a collection bag with your name, gender, age, grade, and school or city you live in
Save all plastic and Styrofoam that you used for 1 week
Please rinse items clean before saving them because we will need to store them until the next hearing
Items can include:
Plastic forks, knives, and spoons, plates, takeout containers, straws, straw wrapper, plastic lids from drinks, cups, bags, plastic wraps, Ziploc bags, seals around containers, and anything made of plastic or styrofoam
If you would like to help further:
Email your Representatives in support of the bills to ban styrofoam and straws
Come to a hearing and share your testimony
Follow @ThePlasticsProject on Facebook or Instagram for upcoming events, workshops, and cleanups
The Plastics Projects’s Testimony Regarding Plastic Bans:
Straws are convenient, but the truth is, in the case of plastic, convenience kills. Maybe you’ve seen the viral video of a sea turtle that had to have a straw pulled out of its nose or photos of marine animals and birds dying because they ate plastic. Plastic has been incredible in providing humans with convenience and it is true that plastic is useful and needed for many things. The big problem lies in single use plastics.
We have become dependent on what makes things easy for us. Plates, cups, bags, plastic seals, and yes, straws are used daily by everyone and tossed in the trash as soon as we are done, but do you know that when you throw plastic away, there really is no away? Plastic just sits and doesn't go anywhere. It breaks down into microplastics and harmful chemicals, but it never leaves our atmosphere and we are only now beginning to see the consequences of this.
We run a kid organization called The Plastics Project. What we do is get kids involved in plastic reduction and in ocean conservation through kid friendly clean ups. The last clean up we did at the end of 2017 brought together 10 kid volunteers and we pulled a total of 771 pounds of plastic and marine debris from Malaekahana beach. This wasn't the most impressive clean up we have been a part of. Together, we spend hundreds of hours a year cleaning Oahu's beaches and removing thousands of pounds of plastic from our shores.
At the last clean up we did, we met a professor on the beach. He was collecting water and plastic. We asked what he was studying and he said they are trying to determine the effects of the chemicals left behind by the break down of the millions of pieces of microplastics in the ocean and how this will affect the humans years from now.
Now, when we teach about microplastics, we teach people about how fish are eating plastics and dying from it and also how people are eating plastic because we eat fish and are therefore poisoning ourselves, but we never thought about how the Pacific garbage patch, which is bigger than the size of Texas, will eventually break down into chemicals that poison our ocean.
Do you know that 85% of the oxygen that we breathe comes from the ocean? What will we do if the ocean dies? If it were up to us, we would make a law that assigns everyone beach clean up days just like jury duty because it should be everyone’s responsibility. We all like to breathe, right? We all contribute to plastic pollution and we all should be responsible for fixing it. We also think that if people were forced to help clean, they’d start thinking more about prevention because it is hard work. We don’t do it because we love it and its fun.
Scientists are saying that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. An estimated 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year. 8 million tons in just a year! That’s crazy! We brought along some plastic that we got off of the beach from one of our clean ups to give you an idea of what’s really happening on our own beaches here in Hawaii. Plastic waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is washing up on Hawaii’s shores. If you take a trip to the hidden beaches in the Kahuku area, you will be shocked, I know we were when we started doing cleanups. This is only 7 pounds of plastic waste in this bucket. Our last cleanup removed 771 pounds, so can you imagine how much plastic we are talking about?
We remember one week, we cleared Kahuku Golf Course Beach and removed over one thousand pounds of plastic waste from the shoreline, and we went back the next week and guess what? It was just as bad. We couldn’t believe it! Our oceans are flooded with plastic pollution and we need to start looking at prevention, not just damage control.
Cleaning the beaches every week will not create the change that we need. We need to reduce human use of single use plastics. Something as simple and small as banning straws would force a much-needed change. This is one small change of the many that we really need in order to create a huge impact. This law will start a ripple effect. If straws are banned, companies like Mcdonald’s and Starbucks who use an immense amount of single use plastic will be forced to rethink the way they are serving their food.
We need to take care of our oceans, our lives depend on it, but we cannot do it on our own. Our state needs to start taking responsibility to help us. We need to stop placing importance on convenience and start seeing the bigger picture. Prevention is key. Please consider passing this bill, which will help discipline adults into reducing their use of single use plastics.
Some Facts from The Plastics Project:
A large amount of plastics cannot even be recycled. Instead, they sit in our landfills and slowly break down into chemicals which pollute our water supply. Plastic that is recycled can only be reused 6 to 8 times on average before they are unrecyclable because of structural stability. After that, they end up in landfills too. Plastic doesn't break down easily or quickly and in the slow breakdown process, harmful toxic chemicals are released, microplastics particles are left behind, and we don't even know all of the effects of that yet because most plastic still hasn't fully broken down from the time of its initial creation.
8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year regardless of recycling programs and disposal processes that are already in place. All of that will eventually break down into chemicals in the ocean and we don't even know how that will affect us yet.
Come out to a Kahuku beach clean up and see how bad the Pacific Garbage Patch and plastic pollution really is. Kailua just got some media coverage, but that's the tip of the iceberg. By 2050 we will have put more plastic in the ocean than there are fishes. This can't be good, especially considering that 50-85% of the air we breathe comes from the ocean. Do you all not enjoy breathing???
Any ban on plastics is a step in the right direction. We are completely taking from future generations because the human race is lazy and dependant on convenience.
Spending hundreds of hours every year cleaning plastic from our beaches is not enough. We are fighting a battle that won't stop until plastic use does.
The hope is that the state bans straws and other unnecessary single use plastics. The rest of the people opposed or upset because they feel the ban is ridiculous, unnecessary, or won’t make a difference clearly don't understand how much plastic pollution is going to affect the human race, especially once all the plastic in the ocean breaks down into chemicals. We will start getting sick from eating fish because we are ingesting microplastics and by the time we pay attention to that, how much irreversible damage will already be done?