The amount of plastic entering our oceans is equal to 136 billion milk jugs each year!
As with all waterways, the Nanticoke River is vulnerable to plastics pollution. Every year we find mostly plastics in our beach cleanups and too much isn’t found because it washes into the River.
A growing threat is the use of microfibers; the U.S. Geological Survey sampled sites in the Chesapeake watershed and found that microfibers were the most abundant type of microplastic.
The plastics problem is serious and will only worsen with time if steps are not taken to address the issue. Following are simple suggestions we can all do now.
Buy clothes made of natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool, silk or hemp rather than polyester, nylon, acrylic, etc.;
Skip straws, plastic take-out containers and utensils;
Use your own reusable water bottle;
Carry reusable shopping bags;
Choose household products with less packaging and eliminate single-use plastic items;
For items that you must buy in plastic containers, commit to reusing over and over;
Purchase items secondhand;
When eating out, bring your own “doggy bag/box” container;
When walking on the beach or in your community, bring a bag to pick up trash found along the way.
The list can go on and on, and we can all set an example for the best way to treat the Nanticoke River watershed and our planet.
Here are links to more great information on plastics in the environment:
Chesapeake Bay Program - Keeping microplastics out of the Bay
Natural Resources Defense Council - 10 Ways to reduce microplastic pollution