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The Right Way to remove Plastic

BFF (Blue Frontier Friend) Mary Crowley who we labeled “the Ghostnet Buster” is at it again. Having secured 42 tons of marine debris from the Pacific “garbage patch” last year she’s expanding her operation. The 140-foot sailing cargo vessel Kwai just landed in Hawaii with 100 tons of abandoned fishing net recovered in the first of two deployments she’s organized this summer. For more on the largest ocean plastic clean up ever read this article on Mary in the Christian Science Monitor. And thanks to BF Media Director Elli Kurlow for bringing this to our attention.

It is great they were able to remove these abandoned and dangerous fishing nets. If we speak of plastic waste in our oceans, we know it comes from inland.

There are three main ways the plastic we use every day ends up in the ocean. The plastic you put in the bin ends up in landfill. When rubbish is being transported to landfill plastic is often blown away because it's so lightweight. From there, it can eventually clutter around drains and enter rivers and the sea this way.

All of us, here in Kentucky, can help make a difference by reducing our use of single use plastics.

Here is what you can do to make a difference:

 Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw

  1. Use a reusable produce bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often! 

  2. Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic. 

  3. Buy boxes instead of bottles. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which is more easily recycled than plastic.

  4. Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging. 

  5. Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.

  6. Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop

  7. Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use styrofoam. 

  8. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter. 

  9. Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. Plus you'll be eating fewer processed foods! 

  10. Don't use plasticware at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your take-out box.

  11. Ask your local grocer to take your plastic containers (for berries, tomatoes, etc.) back. If you shop at a farmers market they can refill it for you.

  12. The EPA estimates that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded in the US each year. Use cloth diapers to reduce your baby's carbon footprint and save money. 

  13. Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It's healthier and better for the environment.

  14. Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.

  15. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.

  16. Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor

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