Ban Single-use Plastic in Hawaii
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We're the most isolated islands in the world. Our kuleana to promote sustainable and zero waste living begins by eliminating single-use plastic in our islands. Every single piece of plastic ever made, still exists. An extremely large amount of plastic bags, micro-plastics, and debris will inevitably end up in our oceans, littering the floors and branches of our forests, killing our ecosystems from the mountains to the sea. The #1 threat to our marine life is PLASTIC. Plastic bags are responsible for the decline and extinction of thousands of species in our Pacific Ocean & around the world. It is hard to recycle plastic bags. Recycling may hold off some of the problem, but certainly does not eradicate it. By banning plastic bags in Hawai'i we will be setting a global standard and example for the rest of this planet while saving our ecosystems.
Plastic bags do not degrade in the marine environment. Plastic bags photo-degrade, meaning they break down into smaller and smaller bits of plastic but never completely go away. Marine animals, such as honu (turtles), and seabirds, whales, even some fish see these micro plastic particles floating in the water and think that it’s food. Plastic cannot be digested; thus the plastic blocks the digestive track and the turtle or bird dies from starvation because their food can’t be digested. It is estimated that over 267 species of seabirds have plastic in their bodies. Numerous studies have proven this fact. http://coastalcare.org/2015/09/90-percent-of-seabirds-have-plastic-in-their-stomachs/
The numbers are staggering: There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. Of that waste total, only 9 percent was recycled, 12 percent was incinerated and 79 percent accumulated in landfills or the natural environment.
The solution for all is a zero waste lifestyle, encouraging businesses to use compostable packaging, while encouraging your communities to create a compostable site for all compostable products.
I would like to urge our communities, leaders, and households to take action towards this disaster, and participate in a zero waste lifestyle to the best of your ability. Consider using alternatives to single-use plastic, plastic bags, and plastic water bottles.
Mahalo for your time, lets Malama (take care) of our 'Aina (land) for our keiki (children) and ecosystems.
He Ali'i Ka 'Aina, He Kauwa Ke Kanaka.
Land is Chief, Man is its Servant.
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