Have you ever given thought to how much plastic you use on a daily basis? In just 2018, UM produced nearly 20,000 tons of waste and purchased about 625,000 plastic bottles.
As active users of plastic and being Wolverines, we need to help Michigan in its aim to reduce waste sent to landfills by 40% by 2025. Moreover, we need to be responsible members of this society: contributing to the same extent that we consume.
It is all of our responsibility because limiting plastic pollution does not only benefit us but gives us an opportunity to help ensure the survival of other marine species that have suffered due to our activities.
(P.S think about this ball of fur being strangled due to us!)
Some of you might be thinking that you live in Ann Arbor and don’t really depend on the ocean for anything so why should you particularly care about the plastic that ends up in the ocean?
Oceans not only constitute 90% of the world’s habitable space but are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems.
They are a treasure chest of resources that we have continued to rely on but currently, 60% of the world’s major marine ecosystems are being degraded or used unsustainably (UN). Moreover, 245,000 square kilometers of ocean surface area has been deemed ‘dead zones’ where most marine life cannot survive.
Think about the cute sea turtles from Nemo or the fascinating fish in aquariums or going scuba diving and seeing a whole new world. All of that would be gone if we don’t act NOW.
University of Michigan. (2019). University of Michigan-FY2018 Annual Environmental Metrics Report. Retrieved from https://ocs.umich.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FY-2018-env-metrics-final.pdf
UNESCO. (2017, December 1). Facts and figures on marine biodiversity | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/ioc-oceans/focus-areas/rio-20-ocean/blueprint-for-the-future-we-want/marine-biodiversity/facts-and-figures-on-marine-biodiversity/