Plastic Cups Are Ruining Our Oceans. These Cups Are The Answer.
* This post is sponsored by our friends at Shamrock Cups. The information and opinions presented here are all ours.
It’s hard to imagine a world without plastic. It’s literally everywhere and used in just about everything from food storage and packaging to things like bike helmets, toys, cell phones, computers to car making, building materials to cars. houses, commercial fishing gear and much more. What was once considered a technological breakthrough, plastic pollution is now a global crisis that is severely weighing down all of the oceans and waterways on our planet.
According to the EPA, plastic is so incredibly indestructible that “Every piece of plastic ever made still exists.” It can take hundreds to thousands of years to collapse. This is what makes it so effective and at the same time incredibly dangerous. Every year, 8-9 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans and it has been reported that by 2050 the amount of plastic in the sea will outnumber the amount of fish. One of the greatest concentrations of plastic pollution is found in the Pacific Ocean. Named the Great Pacific Garbage patch, this vast swirling area of plastic pollution is growing exponentially. It is now more than double the size of Texas and weighs 87,000 tons, filled with more than 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. (2)
It’s when plastic like those in plastic cups breaks down into much smaller pieces from waves, heat, and sun exposure that it becomes an even bigger problem. These little pieces of plastic called ‘mmicroplastics ”are not filtered by wastewater treatment. They wash up on beaches and have even been discovered in the rain in remote mountainous regions like the Great Pyrenees of France. Microplastics are accidentally absorbed and ingested by marine life when mistaken for food. They have been found in the brains of crabs, the stomachs of fish and birds, and other mammals often causing death, starvation and suffering. Microplastics have even been shown to impair endocrine function and healthy development in fish and other aquatic species. Scientists know for sure that microplastics are harmful to marine life and ecosystems, but are not yet certain of their true impact on humans. But it won’t be long before we find out. These pieces of plastic pollution are such a problem that a recent study done at the University of Newcastle in Australia found that most of us ingest the equivalent weight of plastic like a credit card every week.
One of the most devastating sources of plastic pollution is single-source plastics like bags, forks, straws, and mugs like what we would get in a fast food restaurant. And that plastic cup you threw in the trash after a quick casual lunch on the go isn’t just harmless in a landfill. Even if you don’t live near the ocean, that take-out plastic mug you threw away today will eventually release harmful contaminants and toxins that seep into our drinking water that makes its way into rivers. , lakes, streams, oceans, drinking water and in our food from land or sea.
Disturbing plastic fact: Only 9% of all plastic is recycled in the world. Of the trillion plastic bags used each year worldwide, less than 5% are recycled.
What can help solve the plastic problem?
Single-use plastics like plastic cups, lids, and straws distributed in quick-service restaurants and convenience stores are one of the biggest sources of plastic pollution. And with more than 500 billion plastic cups used every year, an ecological alternative can have a significant impact on the health of our oceans.
A company called Shamrock Cups has an innovative solution that they believe can eliminate the need for single-use plastic cups and positively change the way we take our drinks forever. They invented the Shamrock Cup – a paper cup with an integrated foldable lid shaped like a four-leaf clover. He’s kind of a genius. 100% recyclable and biodegradable, these cups even have a slot for a straw (paper only of course!). Shamrock Tumblers offer the convenience of plastic or styrofoam, without all of the nasty negative environmental effects.
How does a Shamrock mug work?
To use a Shamrock mug, simply pinch the sides of the rim, fold inward, press down and your Shamrock mug is ready to use! For every Shamrock Cup used, that means one less piece of plastic in the ocean. And not only is the need for plastic cups eliminated, but also the need for single-use plastic lids.
What can we do to help?
Plastic pollution on land and in our oceans will require more than one solution to tackle it. Not only will it revolve around our individual habits and actions, but it will also require a change in business practices and the enactment of government policies. If you are feeling helpless, there are small but powerful steps you can take to make a difference. Small changes can lead to big results. Here is how to help you:
- Refuse single-use plastics as much as possible
Whenever we offer you single use plastics you don’t need, just say no. This includes plastic cups, lids, straws, plastic bags, containers, and on-the-go utensils. This means less plastic floating in the ocean.
- If possible, bring your own reusable tote bags, water bottles and utensils.
While we know this isn’t always possible or common, a great product like Shamrock Cups is an innovative solution that can fill the void for businesses that need to offer an eco-friendly yet practical take-out solution.
- Speak up and let your voice be heard!
This is the ancient power of the handbag. Let fast food outlets and businesses where you spend money know that using single-use plastics is not acceptable. If companies feel that their bottom line is being affected because their customers disapprove of their business practices, they are sure to make a change. So next time you turn down that plastic cup, also let that fast food or business know that Shamrock cups are a much better solution.
- Tell the EPA to ban plastic lids
Impactful change requires government action. Since it’s the job of the Environmental Protection Agency to set rules to protect the environment, it’s time they got involved. Email them, send them a Facebook message, call them on the phone, or write them an old-fashioned letter. Tell the EPA you want them to write rules to ban plastic cups and lids so they never have a chance to reach the ocean. Suggest compostable and ocean-friendly solutions like Shamrock Cups as a much better solution.
Want to help fight plastic pollution in our oceans? Shamrock Cups needs you to spread the word!
With a Shamrock mug, there is no longer an excuse for a single-use plastic mug or lid to be used in the fast food industry.
To learn more about Shamrock Cups and to help remove over 100 million pounds of plastic waste each year, visit http://shamrockcupsinc.com/help-us-change-the-world-with-shamrock-cups/
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