The MMT Blog / Plastic Free July Challenge!
Are you up for the challenge of protecting our marine ecosystems by reducing your use of single-use plastics? Join Major Marine Tours and millions of participants throughout the world in the Plastic Free July Challenge, a global initiative to reduce our use of single-use plastics. Major Marine Tours cares about the health of our marine ecosystems and is dedicated to doing what we can to reduce the amount of marine debris in our oceans. We are partnering with our friends at the Alaska SeaLife Center to promote this challenge and brainstorm ways that we can further reduce our use of single-use plastics.
Single-use plastics permeate our lives and are so common that we may not give them much thought. Plastic grocery bags, straws, water bottles, to-go coffee cups and containers, and plastic silverware are just a few examples of single-use plastics that we use on a daily basis. About 50% of plastics are used once and then thrown away, and a staggering amount of that plastic ends up in our oceans.
Single-use plastics can be detrimental to ocean ecosystems and are particularly harmful to marine animals. Over 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year, and about 90% of that is single-use plastic. Marine mammals can become entangled in plastic or ingest it, and it is estimated that over 270 species of marine animals are affected by this dangerous marine debris.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
Major Marine Tours and our partner company Harbor 360 Hotel have already taken measures to reduce our use of single-use plastics, such as:
- Installing water bottle filling stations on our vessels
- Using biodegradable straws, cold cups, plates, and cutlery
- Switching from disposable plastic oil drums to large reusable steel containers
- Buying cleaning solutions in large drums rather than small plastic containers
- Sending food waste to Turning Heads Kennel to reduce trash bag usage and waste
Harbor 360 Hotel:
- Switching to biodegradable plates, bowls, cutlery, and cups for our breakfast service
- Providing refillable shampoo and body wash dispensers in our guest rooms rather than single-use shampoo bottles
We are currently researching options for biodegradable trash bags and ziplock bags for Major Marine Tours and Harbor 360 Hotel, and are brainstorming ways to further reduce our use of single-use plastic.
WHAT THE ALASKA SEALIFE CENTER IS DOING
- Using compostable lids and cups and earth-friendly plates, napkins, and to-go boxes in the cafe
- No longer providing straws or juice boxes with plastic straws
- No longer selling plastic water bottles
- Selling beverages in cans or glass bottles rather than plastic
- Providing paper and reusable shopping bags in the gift shop
- Implementing an internal single-use plastics audit
- Creating a new Exit Exhibit that focuses on marine debris and single-use plastics
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Sign up for the Plastic Free July Challenge! Once you sign up, you will receive emails with tips and tricks for reducing your plastic use. Check out the Plastic Free July Action Picker for a handy list of some of the easiest swaps that you can make with the biggest impact. Help us protect our oceans and keep our marine wildlife healthy!