People are fed up with plastic. They’re refusing plastic straws, bringing their own grocery bags and carrying reusable water bottles. And now Ocean Conservancy is joining the growing chorus against plastic waste by asking people to Pledge to Quit the Cutlery.
Single use plastic forks, knives and spoons do not get recycled even when you put them in the recycling bin. These bits of plastic are too small, too light weight and too contaminated to be recycled.
But that’s not the only problem with plastic cutlery. Ocean Conservancy scientists found that plastic cutlery is among the most dangerous threats to ocean animals such as seabirds, mammals and turtles. Ocean trash in the water and on the shore can be mistaken as food by wildlife. On top of that, the plastic eventually breaks up into smaller microplastics over time. Fish and shellfish inadvertently filter these microplastics through their gills, which clogs their bodies and contaminates them with trash. And this impacts everyone who eats these foods. Plastic has been found in 59 percent of sea birds, 100 percent of sea turtle species, and more than 25 percent of fish sampled from seafood markets around the world.