Long Beach, CA
The Aquarium of the Pacific has joined with eighteen other aquariums across the United States and created a new Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP) to address one of the gravest threats facing ocean and freshwater animals – plastic pollution. Today, the ACP announced the launch of a nationwide consumer campaign and a business commitment to drive a shift away from single-use plastic among their visitors, in their communities, and beyond.
“The Aquarium of the Pacific is a trusted source of science-based information on the ocean and environment in our region. It is our aim to provide our visitors with practical things they can do as ocean stewards in their communities. We are proud to be joining with aquariums across the country to promote ocean conservation,” said Jerry Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president and CEO.
Through the national “In Our Hands” campaign, the ACP hopes to empower their 20 million visitors and millions more in their communities to drive a national shift away from single-use plastic and toward innovative alternatives. The public can learn more about the Aquarium of the Pacific’s commitment and achievements at pacific.to/singleuseplastic.
“The public trusts aquariums to do what’s right for the health of the ocean and for ocean wildlife,” said Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. “We’re just beginning to understand the full impacts of ocean plastic pollution on ecosystems, marine life, and human health. But we already know enough to say that now is the time to act.”
All nineteen aquariums are also supporting this shift away from single-use plastic within their own businesses. As of today, all ACP members have eliminated plastic straws and single-use plastic take-away bags in their institutions. In hopes of additional plastic reduction, the aquariums have also committed to:
- Significantly reduce or eliminate plastic beverage bottles by December 2020
- Showcase innovative alternatives to single-use plastic in their facilities
“As leaders in aquatic conservation, aquariums are expected to walk their talk, and that’s exactly what this partnership is meant to do,” said National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli. “We are uniquely qualified to set an example for others—in reducing our plastic footprint, encouraging sustainable operating practices, and inspiring hope in a public that is hungry to be part of the solution. We’re right where we should be.”
About 8.8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year worldwide – roughly a dump truck full of plastic every minute of every day. In the United States alone, plastic waste averages more than 200 pounds per person each year. If nothing changes, by 2025 the flow of plastic into the ocean is expected to double.