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Plastic pollution is devastating our oceans at an alarming rate, with about 8 million tons of waste entering the ocean every year. Scientists estimate that by 2050 there could be more plastics by weight in the oceans than fish. The deadly effects of plastic pollution are far-reaching, destroying coral reefs, killing marine life, diminishing food supplies and altering the ecological balance of the world's oceans.
We are all affected by plastic pollution; it's a serious global problem that needs immediate attention. People and organizations around the world are stepping up and taking action to fight the plastic menace, to preserve and protect our oceans, which impact all life on the planet.
Since 2002, World Oceans Day has been fighting to protect and raise awareness of the state of our oceans and what we can do to ensure a healthy future. World Oceans Day this year is on June 8. The theme is plastic pollution.
California is doing its part by banning single-use plastic bags. The first plastic bag law in the U.S. was adopted in San Francisco in 2007. Since then, at least 345 municipalities in 25 states have adopted bans and/or fees on carryout bags. In 2016, California became the first state to adopt a statewide plastic bag law. Following California's footsteps, Hawaii's counties banned plastic bags and New York recently passed a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags throughout supermarkets and other stores, which is effective starting March 1, 2020.
California cities continue to take actions in the fight against plastic pollution in our oceans by banning straws and other plastics. Communities and individuals in the state are hosting year-round beach clean-up events, educational events, exhibitions and expos. During last year's World Oceans Day, California hosted 93 events, almost double the number from the previous year. This year promises to be even better with your support and participation.
If we all did just one thing, made one commitment, think of the impact. Together, we can save our oceans for ourselves and future generations, but it takes your action. Here are some of the actions performed by everyday citizens around the world that have made a difference.
Here's what you can do right now: Simply make the pledge to take at least one of these actions and sign our online petition – your pledge will count as an automatic entry to win a specially designed World Oceans Day t-shirt!