Heroes of the Ocean is celebrated for protecting the environment by banning single-use plastic – News – The Newburyport Current
Greater Boston residents led the state’s charges against single-use plastic bags, bottles and styrofoam packaging and were honored as “Heroes of the Ocean” on November 12 at the Massachusetts Statehouse. Women Working for Oceans jointly sponsored the event with the Massachusetts Sierra Club and in partnership with the New England Aquarium.
Motivated environmentalists from Amherst, Barnstable, Brookline, Cambridge, Concord, Falmouth, Great Barrington, Harwich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Nantucket, Newburyport, Newton, Northampton, Pittsfield, Provincetown, Somerville, South Hadley and Wellfleet attended the See You, like the award winners of your city, receive honors during the award ceremony in the Grand Staircase.
Women Working for Ocean Ellen Curren hosted the event and Cleo Falvey, a Brookline High student, spoke on behalf of the next generation of environmentalists. The aquarium’s Live Blue Ambassadors program, a diverse non-profit group dedicated to environmental projects, was also in attendance.
According to the Sierra Club, more than 100 billion plastic bags are used in the US each year, littering parks, clogging gullies, and choking, strangling and entangling whales, turtles, sea lions, seals, birds, fish and other animals. Confused with food, plastic bags wrap around the wild animals’ intestines, resulting in slow and painful death. Birds can use them for nesting, which can lead to suffocation.
Plastic bags are not biodegradable. Instead, they slowly break down into smaller pieces called microplastics, which then contaminate soils, waterways and oceans. Fish absorb plastic and humans in turn eat the fish. The Heroes of the Oceans promoted initiatives to ban plastic for the health of our communities and families. “Well-considered decisions will ultimately lead to a change in habits and a decrease in the amount of single-use plastic in our waste stream. That means less plastic in the ocean and less plastic in people, ”said Curren.
Sixteen communities in Massachusetts have already banned single-use bags, and more are expected in the coming months. Instead, consumers are encouraged to use washable towels and reusable bags. Massachusetts joins other states and communities with bans and pursues global actions in other countries and continents.
“We must act now to stop irreversible plastic pollution. We need to get back to sustainable packaging that is environmentally friendly, “said Emily Norton, chapter director of the Sierra Club.
New scientific studies have also drawn attention to harmful microspheres, a tiny plastic found in cosmetics and personal care products that is the next challenge in the fight against plastic pollution. Massachusetts could soon join nine other states that are phasing out the manufacturing and sales of microbead products by 2020 if a law like that proposed by Hadley State Rep. John Sciback is passed.