Plastic pollution is a major problem in the Great Lakes. More than 22 million pounds of plastic end up in the lakes every year. And plastic never really goes away. Instead, it just breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces known as “microplastics.”
Researchers have found stunningly high amounts of microplastics in all five Great Lakes, which provide drinking water for 40 million people. These microscopic pieces of plastic have been found in our drinking water, fish, and beer – and even in people’s blood.
Plastic pollution in the Great Lakes is going to get worse unless we do something about it. And there’s no better time to take action than in July.
Plastic Free July
Plastic Free July® is a global initiative that was founded by the Plastic Free Foundation. People all over the world will be taking action in July to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans, lakes, and rivers.
Here are 5 ways you can help the Great Lakes this Plastic Free July:
- Learn more about plastic pollution: Listen to our chat with Dr. Sherri Mason, a leading expert on the threat of microplastics in the Great Lakes. And read about how Great Lakes plastic pollution is different from plastic pollution in the ocean.
- Celebrate a plastic-free 4th of July: Check out these 9 tips to keep plastic out of the Great Lakes during your holiday weekend.
- Commit to a new habit: Whether you say goodbye to plastic cutlery or take action in your own community, you can help reduce plastic pollution all year round. See our pledge for more ideas!
- Volunteer with Adopt-a-Beach: Adopt-a-Beach cleanups are a fun, free, easy way to give back to your community and keep plastic pollution out of our Great Lakes. And this year you can help Adopt-a-Beach reach an important milestone: we’re aiming to reach half a million pounds of litter collected! Find a cleanup near you and sign up today. Or learn how to run a cleanup of your own.
- Make it a movement: Have an even bigger impact by spreading the word. Tell your friends and family what you’re doing for Plastic Free July, and invite them to join in. An easy way to do this is by following Alliance for the Great Lakes on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. We’ll be posting resources and activities you can share throughout the month.
Pick a way to reduce plastic pollution, and get started today!