Rise Above Plastics
Rise Above Plastics is designed to eliminate the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.
Most plastic pollution at sea starts out on land from overflowing landfills or as litter on beaches, streets and sidewalks. Rain flushes that plastic through a storm drain system, or directly sends it into creeks, streams and rivers that lead to the ocean.
After plastics enter the marine environment, they slowly photodegrade into smaller pieces that marine life can mistake for food, sometimes with fatal results. Research groups report that ocean gyres — a system of circulating currents in an ocean — concentrate plastic pollution in five main areas of the world’s ocean, with alarming consequences.
The whole lifecycle of plastics is also problematic. From extraction to disposal, plastic pollutes our communities and environment. It is a leading contributor to climate change. And more often than not, it disproportionately harms Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color.
Simple local actions can help make an impact to solve this global issue. Join us in protecting the coast and Rise Above Plastics!
Plastic Is All Around Us (and In Us!)
It's in our homes, offices, vehicles, yards, and playgrounds. We make and use it to package food, bottle products, bag produce, and construct dinnerware, utensils, toys, and more.
Plastics have undoubtedly helped us to manufacture, package and ship goods more easily, however, plastics pose a significant threat to our planet as well.
Part of the problem is plastic itself. The very qualities that make it an adaptable and durable product to use, also make plastic an environmental nightmare. Since plastics don’t biodegrade and instead break down under exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, they simply become smaller and smaller, eventually becoming microplastics. These microplastics get everywhere - they are in our air, water, and food - and are essentially impossible to clean up..
Bottom line: with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated (which is also problematic), virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists today in some shape or form.
Program Mission And Goals
Our mission is to reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.
We encourage YOU to help address these global issues locally with plastic reductions at home, school, work, and for your entire community:
- Connect with Rise Above Plastics by attending a Surfrider Foundation Chapter meeting.
- Get involved with your local chapter and/or spread the word to friends and family about the problems with plastics.
- Be a leader and have the biggest impact by directing a plastic reduction program at school/work or a plastic reduction ordinance with your local city council.
Learn more about reducing your plastic footprint by learning about going plastic-free, making your home ocean-friendly, and sneaky sources of plastic.