With the exception of the small amount that’s been burned, every piece of petroleum-based plastic manufactured since the 1950s—billions of disposable drinking cups, toothbrushes and lighters, packages for toys and snacks—still exists. Less than 5 percent of it has been recycled; much more sits in landfills. And an incalculable amount that washes down storm drains or litters beaches ends up in the sea, forever.
During Surfrider Monterey's monthly beach cleanups, volunteers pick up plastic trash along the county’s coastline. In an effort to reduce the amount that ends up on beaches and in the ocean, the nonprofit’s new “Plankton, Not Plastics” campaign encourages a shift toward biodegradable materials through public outreach, education, and government lobbying. To see the recent newsstory featuring chapter chair Ximena Waissbluth, visit http://www.mcweekly.com/issues/Issue.04-26-2007/news/Article.news_4