This month, millions of people around the world are getting ready to take the Plastic Free July challenge, to create a world without plastic waste! Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, waterways, forests, and beautiful communities. This month, we’re celebrating Plastic Free July by doing our part to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment - to protect our natural ecosystems from mauka to makai and keep them healthy and thriving. Making small, simple changes to your lifestyle and taking action in an effort to be more eco-conscious and sustainable will collectively make a huge difference for the planet!
For “Plastic Free July,” we have THREE simple actions YOU can do to minimize your plastic footprint. These small changes have the potential to significantly reduce the amount of plastic materials polluting our natural environment and will help protect the important coastal ecosystems we have in Hawaii, such as our coral reefs!
Practice PONO fishing! Don’t leave your fishing gear behind and use sustainable fishing gear if you can!
Some of the most deadly plastic pollution is abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear, known as “ghost gear.” There are a variety of eco-friendly fishing gear options on the market today that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and less invasive for marine life. Items such as biodegradable monofilament fishing line, brass, steel, tungsten or tin fishing weights (as opposed to toxic lead weights), or biodegradable fishing lures are good options to practice pono fishing! Visit: https://www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/fishing-gear-and-tackle/sustainable-fishing-gear/ for more information and popular choices to consider.
2. Take 3 for the sea OR participate in a beach clean up
Pick up at least 3 pieces of rubbish around your neighborhood, in a park, on a hiking trail, or at the beach when you’re out and about or take part in a beach clean up with a local organization!
Our over-consumption of plastic has resulted in overflowing landfills and rubbish bins where our trash can readily be swept away with the wind. No matter where you live, even if it’s a landlocked state in the Midwest, your trash can easily make its way to the ocean by way of storm drains and rivers. Additionally, lost, abandoned, or purposefully discarded fishing gear accounts for about 80% of plastic pollution in Hawaii, polluting our coastlines and some of the world’s most pristine beaches, ecosystems, and wildlife habitats. Every piece of trash removed is one less piece that will end up in the ocean or harming wildlife.
Get involved with a beach clean up organization near you! Here’s a list of some organizations we recommend:
3. Sign up to come to a future Hana Pūko‘a event to participate in our collaborative and community driven coral restoration project #restorewithresilience! OR share our Hana Pūko‘a event calendar on your social media pages!
“Hawaii alone houses 60% of the United States’ coral reefs and is estimated to be worth over $9 billion and contribute several hundred millions of dollars to the economy per year. Commercial and recreational fishing in coral reefs ecosystems generates $200,000+ per year” (EPA, 2018, para. 31-33). However, in the past 30 years, approximately 50% of the world's coral reefs have already been lost, and it's estimated by 2050, only 10% of the world’s reefs will persist. Plastic production and plastic debris in the environment releases chemicals that warm the oceans and damage, poison, and infect coral communities, leaving them unhealthy, bleached, and oftentimes entangled in debris. A new study found that disease potential increases from 4 percent to 89 percent when corals come into contact with plastic.
While corals face many threats, there are actions that can be taken to help preserve reefs for future generations. Urgent action is needed to protect these important ecosystems. The Hana Pūko‘a events as part of the Restore with Resilience project are essential to testing for and selecting thermally resistant corals to be outplanted in Maunalua Bay to enhance future reef resilience of Hawaii. Visit https://restorewithresilience.org/volunteer to sign up!
To learn more about how plastic pollution is negatively impacting our environment and ocean ecosystems, check out the links below:
Act & WIn
Completing just ONE of these actions makes you eligible to WIN epic merchandise from T&C surf shop! Check out our story for more details on prizes for this month!
POST a picture on Instagram completing ONE or more of this months actions for Plastic Free July or EMAIL CPR@malamamaunalua.org for private profiles (additional posts completing more than one action will earn you more entries)
2. FOLLOW and TAG @cprmaunalua in your post
3. Use our HASHTAGS #cherishprotectrestore #cprmaunalua in your post.
Winners will be selected by end of day on July 31st!