Every year UC San Diego Recreation hosts Meet the Beach, a “giant beach party for UCSD’s freshmen and first year grad and transfer students.” This year Mission Bay Aquatic Center staff joined the 3,000 student celebration by distributing reusable straws in hopes of spreading awareness about plastic pollution in our oceans.
This year was the 8th year that UCSD Recreation has organized and hosted the event billed as a fun day in sun, sand, and surf including surf lessons, beach Zumba, a taco fiesta, a DJ, and even surfing dogs!
The conversation around reducing single-use plastic straws has been driven in large part by an organized campaign by the Surfrider Foundation. While straws may seem like a small amount of plastic, Americans throw away enough of them to wrap around the earth’s circumference two and a half times every single day. At this rate, it is expected that by 2050, there will be a higher concentration of plastic in our oceans than fish, which is why reducing single-use plastic is an important step. The universal recycling symbol represents three R’s of responsible and effective waste management: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, with reducing use being the first step in the process.
By handing out reusable, stainless steel straws to UC San Diego’s newest students, we are hoping to encourage students to reduce their use of single-use plastic to preserve our beautiful playground that is the Pacific Ocean.
What steps do you take to reduce, reuse, or recycle your plastic waste?