認知到塑膠垃圾是海洋和淡水生態的最大威脅之一，美國19座水族館宣布組成「水族館保育聯盟」（Aquarium Conservation Partnership, ACP），聯手對抗塑膠污染進入湖泊海洋。
「大眾信任水族館的專業，相信水族館的作為對海洋生態健康是重要的。」ACP發起者之一、加州蒙特利灣水族館（Monterey Bay Aquarium）執行董事Julie Packard表示。
透過全國性的「你我手中」（In Our Hands）推廣活動，ACP希望能從19間水族館的2000萬遊客甚至數百萬人的社群開始用創新替代品取代免洗塑膠。
芝加哥謝德水族館（Shedd Aquarium）執行長Bridget Coughlin博士指出：「每年有2200萬磅的塑膠流入密西根湖，等於是100個裝滿塑膠瓶的奧林匹克游泳池。」
Stopping the flow of plastic pollution into oceans and lakes is the goal of a new partnership of 19 U.S. aquariums that say plastic waste is one of the gravest threats facing ocean and freshwater animals.
Aquariums from coast to coast are shifting away from single-use plastic products and packaging, and they will try to persuade consumers to build market demand for innovative alternatives to these plastics.
“The public trusts aquariums to do what’s right for the health of the ocean and for ocean wildlife,” said Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a founding member of the new Aquarium Conservation Partnership, ACP.
Through the national “In Our Hands” campaign, the ACP hopes to empower their 20 million visitors and millions more in their communities to drive a national shift away from single-use plastic and toward innovative alternatives.
As of today, all ACP members have eliminated plastic straws and single-use plastic take-away bags from their premises.
The aquariums have committed to greatly reduce or eliminate plastic beverage bottles by December 2020 and showcase innovative alternatives to single-use plastic at their facilities.
About 8.8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year worldwide – roughly a dump truck full of plastic every minute of every day.
In the United States alone, plastic waste averages more than 200 pounds per person each year. If nothing changes, by 2025 the flow of plastic into the ocean is expected to double.
Plastic pollution in lakes and rivers has been found at levels as high, or higher, than in oceanic gyres that concentrate plastic trash.
Today, there are an estimated one billion plastic particles floating on the surface of Lake Michigan alone.
The Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system on the Earth, making up approximately 21 percent of the world’s supply of surface freshwater. Additionally, more than 3,500 species of plants and animals live in the Great Lakes basin.
Shedd Aquarium President and CEO Dr. Bridget Coughlin said, “Approximately 22 million pounds of plastic flows into the Great Lakes each year – in Lake Michigan alone, it is equivalent to 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled with bottles.”
This summer, the aquariums will focus on raising awareness and sparking consumer action, and sharing their own success stories to highlight the many ways they’ve cut back on single-use plastic in their operations.
They are working with business partners to showcase innovative alternatives to single-use plastic products, and will collaborate with vendors to accelerate design of new products and materials.
They are also finding ways to use less plastic packaging in gift store items, and scaling back on single-use plastic in their cafes and restaurants.
The aquariums are also using their collective voice at the local, state and national levels to support policies that reduce the flow of plastic pollution into the ocean, rivers and lakes. Beyond sponsoring clean-up events and education programs, many have backed successful efforts to stem the use of plastic shopping bags and plastic microbeads found in personal care products.