Plastic Pollution
June 30 2011

Bad News and Good News, Heartbreaking and Uplifting

by Bill Hickman

Shocking news out of Australia recently as stories started circulating about the sea turtle in Australia that was ashore dead with 317 pieces of plastic ingested in it's stomach and intestines.  Uplifting news out of California as the Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter hosted it's second annual Rise Above Plastics Day!

It's tough to hear of any animal death but to hear of a single turtle with over 300 pices of plastic is startling.  How many other turtles nearby have died?  How many are suffering right now as you read this?  Click Here for a video with Australian Seabird Rescue spokeswoman Rochelle Ferris explaining why this 'teenage' Green Turtle found washed up at Ballina is the most shocking case she has seen in 15 years.

People cause plastic pollution so we should be able to stop plastic pollution also.  Surfrider's Rise Above Plastics (RAP) program aims to reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.

A great example of RAP education and outreach is the annual 'Rise Above Plastics Day' that the Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter hosts.  RAP Day aims to raise awareness about the issues associated with single-use plastics such as plastic bags and plastic water bottles.  RAP Day is held the week prior to July 4th as a reminder for beachgoers to take less to the beach with them this summer – especially avoiding styrofoam coolers, plastic water bottles and plastic bags.  Surfrider volunteers were waving signs and handing out free reusable produce bags on June 29th at two locations in San Diego County.

Let me upgrade that low quality plastic bag for a great reusable bag!