Largely unexplored but covering over 70% of the earth’s surface, the ocean is home to a vast array of marine life and plant ecosystems that keep our planet healthy. In fact, zooplankton, algae, phytoplankton, and bacteria in the ocean create 80% of the earth’s oxygen supply. But, although a powerful and valuable part of our ecosystem, our oceans face an overarching threat. Presently, ocean plastic pollution is endangering the survival of marine animals like Hawaiian monk seals and Pacific loggerhead sea turtles.
All in all, there are over 150 million tons of discarded plastic in the ocean. And, each year, we add another 8 million tons to that pile.
It’s a problem and a big one. In recognizing the pollution epidemic, we are committed to using recycled ocean plastics for our packaging at Synchronicity. Below, we reveal exactly why we choose sustainable methods to bottle our incredible Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products.
Understanding Ocean Plastic Pollution
Plastic rules the world. From packaging to construction, plastic is used in virtually every industry on the planet. Humans produce over 300 million tons of plastic each year. Or, to put that into perspective, that’s roughly the weight of 100 million elephants or 390 thousand Boeing 747 airplanes.
There are some obvious surface problems with plastic. It’s a non-renewable resource that’s made from natural gas and oil. But, by far, the biggest problem with plastic is this: About half of it goes towards making single-use items (straws, shopping bags, disposable cup lids, and utensils) that we throw straight into the trash can after we’re done with them.
And, some of that plastic ends up in the ocean. Urban/industrial waste, seafood industry waste, and ocean-oriented tourism all contribute heavily to ocean plastic pollution. In fact, plastic is so abundant in the ocean that it makes up 80% of all marine debris. Presently, this plastic wreaks havoc on ocean ecosystems. Plastic has even been found in the world’s deepest trenches, such as the Mariana Trench.
Let’s go over five of the big issues caused by ocean plastic pollution.
1. Ocean Plastic Pollution Kills Marine Animals
We may not want to hear it, but ocean plastics kill sea life. Many marine animals ingest discarded plastics, which tear up their insides. Meanwhile, others get tangled up in plastic, which can injure their fins or strangle them. Each year, about 100,000 marine creatures die from getting entangled in plastic. All in all, over 100 million marine animals die every year from ocean plastic pollution.
This is a serious problem. Not only does a reduction in marine life impact us in terms of food availability, but it also impacts nearly every other animal on the planet, causing ecosystem disruptions on land and in the sea. Want to see how much plastic our ocean friends are dealing with? According to research, sea turtles with 14 pieces of plastic in their gut are 50% more likely to die. Think about this as you view an image of the contents of a sea turtle’s stomach in the Pacific Ocean.
This is in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — which boasts the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world. In other words, there’s a swirling oceanic cesspool of plastics that grows larger every year, and as it grows, marine life shrinks.
2. Ocean Plastic Pollution Contributes to Climate Change
We often hear that the energy industry’s massive coal plants and the agricultural industry’s chickens and cows are the primary contributors to climate change. But, plastic — which takes over 400 years to degrade — also contributes significantly to climate change.
The Center for International Environmental Law estimates that ocean plastics impact the environment more than 180 coal-fired power stations. As low-density polyethylene (the most numerous plastic in the ocean) degrades, it releases greenhouse gases. And, these greenhouse gasses negatively impact the environment.
3. Eating Plastic-Contaminated Seafood Can Endanger Your Health
Alright, buckle your seatbelts for this one. Plastic is in the water you drink, the beer you guzzle down on Saturday nights, and the salt you “pepper” your delicious food with. Virtually every morsel of food you eat and every sip of coffee you drink may contain plastics invisible to the naked eye. Here’s where things get scary. Plastic is carcinogenic (“potentially cancer-causing). That’s right! You eat thousands of bits of plastic every year, and it may be damaging your health.
Studies show that the average human consumes around 52,000 microplastic particles every year. When ingested in seafood, these microparticles disrupt our gut biome and weaken our immune systems. In other words, plastic isn’t good for you. Unfortunately, you probably ate and drank some plastic today.
4. Plastics Destroy Ocean Eco-Systems
Plastics kill fish and marine mammals directly, but they also kill them indirectly. In fact, plastics introduce foreign material into marine ecosystems that can overwhelm local wildlife. Imagine sitting at home and sipping a cup of tea. Suddenly, massive piles of virus-laden trash fall through your roof.
Everywhere you look, mountains of trash sit, polluting your surroundings.
That’s exactly what’s happening to our marine ecosystems.
And, that’s just a start. Chemicals in plastics lead to hormone imbalances and fertility issues in marine wildlife. Plastics even cause harm to birds, who rely on zooplankton to sustain themselves. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), more than 100 species of sea birds ingest plastic as food, a worrisome development.
5. Ocean Plastic Pollution is Hitting You Where It Hurts: Your Wallet
Believe it or not, ocean plastics are costing you money. 80% of tourism occurs around coastal areas. And, all of that plastic impacts tourism flow, disrupting both local and global economies. Microplastics are also disrupting the seafood industry — particularly in Asia — which also feeds back into the global market.
As can be seen, ocean plastics are damaging our environment, wildlife, health, and wallets. So, what can you do about it?
Recycled Ocean Plastics: Why It's a Bigger Deal Than You May Think
This isn’t your typical “you need to recycle” post. Yes, you should get into the recycling habit. But, let’s state the cold, hard truth: most people don’t recycle on a consistent basis. Despite 94% of Americans supporting the “idea” of recycling, a mere 34% actually recycle. One day, we may get that number up to 60, 70, or even 80%. But, we’ll probably never get it to 100%. So, the big question is: what can we do to protect our oceans, besides recycling plastics and other nonbiodegradable materials?
The most complex answer involves local, regional, federal, and global cooperation. But, all too often, legislative initiatives take time. Today, we talk about what you and I can do to help NOW. The answer is simple. You use recycled ocean plastics. Brands like Kevin Murphy sell beauty products with 100% ocean waste plastic packaging. United By Blue sells sustainable clothing and uses the funds it receives to help remove plastic waste from the ocean.
How You Can Help Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution
There’s a massive “underground” movement of companies leveraging ocean waste plastics to create wonderful, unique, and impactful products. Think about it this way: If you’re going to buy a beanie, why not buy one that helps protect the ocean and sea life? And, if you’re interested in a new pair of sunglasses, why should you spend your cash on plastic? Norton Point sells sunglasses made out of recycled ocean waste.
Every dollar makes a difference. If you spend money on the same consumer-centric brands that generate massive amounts of plastic, nothing will change. We need to create a circular economy. Plastic isn’t going away anytime soon. But, what if we could use and reuse plastic products?
That would become what we call a circular plastics economy. Again, the vast majority of ocean plastics come from single-use items. If we can break the societal norms surrounding plastic consumption, we can save marine life and protect our health (and wallets).
Investing in Our Shared Environment
Our mission statement is Wellness Through Oneness™. For the same reason we only grow hyper-sustainable, full-bodied, GMO-free hemp plants, we also use recycled ocean plastic waste to produce our tincture and hemp capsule bottles. Sustainability and health are part of our brand. So, when we see a global issue that impacts both, you can be sure that we’re immediately at the forefront of efforts to bring about meaningful change.
Obviously, recycling ocean plastic waste isn’t the only initiative we support. Our sustainability efforts include utilizing vertically integrated farming and manufacturing practices, sustainable growing methods, and phytonutrient-dense hemp production methods. But, we’re also invested in reducing ocean plastic pollution.
This is a rallying call. Whether or not you buy our products, consider infusing sustainability into your purchasing decisions. Empower yourself to make a difference. There are sustainably-sourced products in virtually every manufacturing vertical. In this post, we specifically highlighted a unique movement we’re invested in. But, you don’t have to be hyper-invested in the same movement. There are thousands of sustainable initiatives you can support to positively impact our ecosystem.
Sure, some are better than others, and some are “more sustainable” than others. But, an ounce of sustainability is better than none. Let’s take a moment to look at how Synchronicity practices sustainability. This isn’t a marketing pitch. It’s an honest reflection of our values. And, we think that by sharing them, we can help make the world a better place.
How Synchronicity Produces Sustainable Products You Can Trust
Our sustainability mission has four main levers:
- We grow all-natural, GMO-free hemp using sustainable farming practices and gentle care.
- We leverage vertically integrated farming and manufacturing practices to keep our entire operation recycle-friendly and sustainable.
- We’re family-owned and family-operated to keep quality and consistency at the heart of our business.
- We use sustainable, 100% recycled ocean waste plastics in the manufacturing of our product packaging.
Obviously, we have multiple layers of sustainability that we leverage as part of our personal mission. But, this should serve as an example of the different sustainability functions available to you as a consumer. Picking a tomato grown in a vertically integrated farming operation instead of that GMO-riddled tomato that’s $0.20 less doesn’t just help you, it also helps the environment.
Certainly, there’s a growing segment of consumers who are taking action by spending money on sustainable products. And, like any movement, there are plenty of counterfeit operations claiming to follow sustainable practices. Be sure to do your research before purchasing.
Are You Looking For Sustainable and Holistic Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil?
Sure, we can sing the praises for our products in the hemp marketplace. In fact, we have a patented hemp plant — CBDRx18 — as well as a patented Hemp Oil infusion process (LipidTrans™ Infusion). And, we’ve already talked about our unique farming practices. In essence, we’ve written extensively about important aspects of our business, and we encourage you to visit our blog to learn more if you’re interested.
Today, we wanted to focus on ocean plastic pollution. We use recycled plastics for every bottle of tincture and hemp-infused body lotion we sell. The ocean is a vast, wonderful, and magical place. We have yet to quantify (and discover) all of the mysterious creatures inhabiting its murky depths. Recently, a deep-sea expedition off the coast of Australia led to the discovery of 30 new ocean species. But, we do know one thing: we don’t want these sea creatures to become extinct.
Plastic waste is a problem on land, as well. However, ocean plastic particles end up in our food, water, and condiments. And, as wellness champions, we believe that we can do better. Let’s start reducing pollution — one bottle of hemp at a time.
Want to learn more about the sustainable lifestyle? Interested in some of the finer details of our products? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to talk about how we can do better. There’s plenty to think about in this crazy world. But, if we just think about ocean plastics for a moment and consider making one small change in our lives, we can make a big difference in our world.