Environmental experts estimate there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our ocean, with millions more tons of plastic entering the ocean from land each year. It’s estimated that Americans use (and throw away) about 500 million plastic straws each day, and 100 billion plastic bags each year. Disposable plastic items easily wash or blow into the ocean, where they can have devastating effects on marine animals and ecosystems. Reducing usage of all single-use plastics is a critical first step in keeping plastic out of the ocean.
We are proud to contribute to the global reduction of plastics, not only through advocacy and education, but now through practice with the elimination of all single-use plastic foodware in our building. This change involved many of our partners, including Sodexo and Pepsi, and a shift in the products we offer in our on-site cafes. For example, disposable plastic lids, straws, stirrers and utensils have been replaced with compostable options. Additional efforts to reduce the use of single-use plastics in our operations include eliminating disposable water bottles and ending the use of plastic bags in our gift shops.
Our most recent effort to eliminate single-use plastics is also part of our leadership role in the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP), a first-of-its-kind collaboration of 19 U.S. aquariums that have joined together to take collective action to address plastic pollution, one of the gravest threats facing ocean and freshwater animals.
Learn more about our commitment to conservation through the Aquarium Conservation Partnership here!
Special thanks to Sodexo and Pepsi for their continued partnership and commitment to this initiative.