20 US aquariums make pledge to reduce plastic pollution

20 US aquariums make pledge to reduce plastic pollution

April 26, 2019
Marcia González

The 20 aquariums that are part of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership are among 600 businesses and 160,000 individuals nationally to take the pledge

On Earth Day 2019 this week (22 April), the 20 aquariums that make up the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP) in the USA joined the battle against plastic pollution by committing a trio of business practices to bring their facilities closer to eliminating all single-use plastic materials. Namely, they pledged to significantly reduce or eliminate single-use plastic packaging in retail products by 2021. They also promised to reduce single-use plastic in back-of-house operations by 2021. And, finally, they committed to ensuring that all dining area tableware – including plates, cups, lids, dishes and utensils – is single-use plastic free by 2021.

“It’s exciting to see aquariums across the country leading a shift away from single-use plastic and toward more sustainable options,” said Julie Packard, Monterey Bay Aquarium executive director. “The additional commitments aquariums are making will help drive the market for alternatives. It’s clear that people are ready to move in a new direction to conserve resources and protect the health of our planet.”

“Eight million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year,” stated National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli. “More than ever, we need to dramatically scale back our consumption of single-use plastic and stop plastic pollution at its source. These business commitments by the members of the ACP will require creativity, innovation and ongoing support from our retail and food service partners. We are creating a nationwide network of facilities that are single-use plastic-free for one simple reason: it’s the right thing to do.”

To date, ACP aquariums have eliminated plastic straws – preventing the use of five million straws per year – and single-use plastic shopping bags in their facilities, in partnership with each aquarium’s food service provider and retailer. ACP aquariums have also committed to significantly reduce or eliminate plastic beverage bottles by 2020.

“The movement to shift away from single-use plastic is growing rapidly,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, Wildlife Conservation Society Vice President and Director of the WCS New York Aquarium. “There are many encouraging signs of success and yet we still have much more work to do. Let’s keep up the momentum and make these changes nationwide.”

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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