{We Believe... #6} Earth vs. Plastic

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What do you think about when you think of an island? A beautiful, tropical place where you can sit on the beach and stare out at the crystal clear water for miles?

In the Northern Pacific, there are islands still being discovered. These new islands are man-made and anything but idyllic. In fact, they are downright repulsive.

That’s because they are plastic islands.

The term "plastic island” can be confusing. These aren’t islands you can see from space or physically stand on. They refer to the accumulation of floating plastic waste that’s caught within the giant swirling currents (called gyres) of the Pacific Ocean. One of these plastic islands is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, covering an area thought to be twice the size of Texas and turning the ocean into a toxic soup.

It’s where much of the 20 million tons of plastic that’s dumped into the ocean each year ends up. What makes plastic worse than other trash that goes into the ocean is that plastic never biodegrades. It just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces (microplastics), which float at or just below the surface of the water. Marine life like whales, turtles, squid, jellyfish, and seabirds ingest floating plastic, mistaking it for food. Adult seabirds feed it to their chicks – leading to starvation, malnutrition or internal injuries. Toxic pollutants leach from the plastic into the water. If fish and marine life are absorbing these chemicals, it’s not a stretch to assume that when we eat fish, we too are absorbing chemicals.

Many of us are aware of the enormous waste created by plastic. While reducing our use of plastic bottles is important, re-using and recycling the bottles we’ve already discarded is just as crucial. On average, the U.S. alone purchases and consumes over 50 billion plastic bottles each year, but sadly, only 40% of the bottles are recycled and put to use.

When we discovered that fabric could be made through a process of recycling plastic bottles, it not only inspired our business, but it inspired our spirit. We decided that we were not okay with being part of the problem and we committed ourselves to being part of the solution. Spreading environmental awareness through fashion and commerce is just one way we believe we can contribute to preserving our world. We hope that when you discover one of Urban Junket’s eco-friendly bags, you’ll be inspired to care for our earth and remember that when added up, every piece of plastic we recycle can make a world of difference.

To being kind to earth and all its creatures. Happy Earth Day today and everyday!

Urban Junket Team

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