What’s SUP Earth Ranger?
Glad to hear you’re doing great, but we meant to ask you if you knew that SUP means single-use plastic! Things like straws, plastic bags, disposable cutlery in mall food courts… they all are meant to be convenient for us, but really only are for only a few moments. They’re designed to be tossed as soon as we’ve used them that ONE time! Then that plastic ends up laying around our planet and endangering animals, yikes! They can cause huge problems for our whole planet.
We know what you’re thinking… “But what about recycling? Doesn’t that help make the SUPs useful after their intended single-use?” Unfortunately about 90% of all plastic waste hasn’t actually been reused, and ends up as total trash anyway. Where do you think the world’s BIGGEST garbage dump is? Hint: It’s not on land!
The most enormous garbage dump you could possibly imagine is smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – right between California and Japan. So, just how big is it? Get this – it’s bigger than all of Ontario!!
- The “Trash Vortex” is made up of almost 100% plastic (scientists think it’s somewhere between 3 and 6 million tonnes)
- Lots of it comes from things that are thrown off of ships, the rest is from land
- You don’t even have to live close to a beach for your garbage to end up in the ocean
And it’s not just the animals that get put in danger…
Apart from animals getting tangled in large pieces of plastic, sea creatures can also mistake it for food. When eaten, plastic takes away space in an animal’s belly that would have been filled with food. This means they can’t get the nutrients they need to survive. The problem doesn’t end there. If a small fish eats some plastic and then is eaten by a larger fish and so on, the entire food chain is contaminated. So if we eat fish, we could be eating plastic too!
But there is hope at the end of this plastic-filled tunnel!
Did you know that Canada is currently planning on banning all harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021! As a country we have certainly made moves to reduce the amount of SUPs, but as an Earth Ranger, you can take matters into your own awesome animal-saving hands! Let’s get a head start on ditching SUPs by working on phasing them out in our everyday life. As we work on mastering this challenge, as Earth Rangers we can help to educate our friends and families on awesome alternatives!
Straws, plastic bags and other single-use plastics (SUPs) are a big problem for our planet. Not only do they take lots of resources to make, they also contribute to climate change and can really hurt animals if they end up in nature. So let’s help our planet and cut single-use plastics out of our lives!
Plus, by taking the pledge to stop using single-use plastics and completing the More Plastic More Problems Mission – for a limited time only you’ll receive a special code for an exclusive avatar item in the Earth Rangers App! Plus these other awesome tools:
- A Mission Brief filled with tons of information about the problem with plastics, along with a guide to the worst offenders in your home
- A tracking sheet to help you monitor your progress
- A printable pledge to make your commitment official!
Here’s an awesome example of an Earth Ranger who took the More Plastics More Problems Mission to the next level: Earth Ranger Tess started an online petition in hopes of fully banning plastic bags in her city of Arnprior, Ontario! Her plan is to take her petition to the mayor in order to prove that people support this change in order to help save our planet.
Tess says, “I want to talk to the mayor about changing how we use plastic bags. Right now, when we go grocery shopping, not everyone brings reusable bags. I see a lot of people asking for up to 15 bags in one grocery order!!! And what’s worse they don’t even fill those plastic bags to the top. According to the Retail Council of Canada, communities in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec and New Brunswick have banned single use plastic bags at grocery and retail stores. Ontario is not on this list!!! We can change this!”