Beaches & Oceans, Plastic Pollution, Plastic-Free, Sustainable News

Cleaning Microplastics On Our Beaches

Sep 14, 2021
Robert Koenen
Contributing Author
Robert Koenen
Contributing Author

Look around and it won’t take long for you to realize that plastic is in virtually everything: homes, stores, wildlife, food supplies, and even our bodies. 

We know that plastic takes around 700 years to break down, but what happens to all the plastic still being created? 

The truth is that most of it (around 91% of all plastic) is never recycled. Almost 9 metric tons (over 19.8k pounds) go into landfills or the ocean every year. Sometimes it’s mistaken as food. Sea animals ingest it and eventually starve, even though their stomachs are full. 

Plastic doesn’t ever go away either. It breaks down into very tiny pieces known as microplastics.

Microplastics are not easily seen, but their impact is still profound. Studies have shown microplastics ingested by animals can cause changes in behavior, DNA damage, and more. The microplastics have infiltrated everything: they have even been found in the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the world’s ocean. We ingest a credit card’s worth of plastic every week. Can you hear Big Plastic saying cha-ching in the background?

I could go on, but if you’ve read this far, you get the picture. And if you’re following the Boxed Water™ brand, you also want to take action on the big problems facing our planet - and the micro ones too. 

Beyond offering a 92% renewable alternative to single-use plastic bottles, we’ve been working with our friends at Ocean Blue Project (OBP) for years. They are amazing partners who support cleanups and education around the country, and this year, they’ve found a way to amplify their impact. They are in development on a Microplastic Cleanup Machine that can pick up plastics as little as 2mm (around the size of a crayon tip) and as up to 4 inches under the sand. With this added equipment to their arsenal, not only does OBP anticipate collecting 250,000 lbs of plastic this year, but they will also apply research and tracing to help stop plastic pollution at the source. 

We want to help, and we’ve rounded up a group of other like-minded brands to fund the purchase of one of these machines for our cleanup friends. Our friends at AG Jeans, Alaska Airlines, Art of Tea, Necessaire, and MIKOH are banding with us to make a positive impact. Will you join us?

There are many ways for you to get involved, no action is too small. We’ll be hosting cleanups in Santa Monica, CA and Montauk, NY over the next couple weeks. If you’re in the area, join us! If not, try hosting your own cleanup or even try your hand at plogging (a cross between picking up and jogging) around your neighborhood. It’s the perfect way to celebrate International Coastal Cleanup Day and Climate Week, both of which fall in September. 

As a thank you for your support, we’re also hosting a giveaway with our amazing partners. One lucky winner will receive over $1600 in goodies from these responsible brands, including travel tickets, compostable denim, and carbon-neutral skincare products. Enter now, and good luck! 

 

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