Plastic litter from our watersheds is getting into Puget Sound. Like marine water bodies all over the world, micro- and macro-plastics are floating in the water, accumulating in the bottom muds, and are sprinkled throughout our beach sand and gravels.
This growing accumulation of plastic has come from marine litter and debris, but an estimated 80% comes from land sources. One-use plastic disposable items, such as plastic bags, vape tubes, food-service ware, and other plastic waste, often gets tossed and blown around and accumulates along roadways, public spaces and in waterways. Creeks and rivers wash this litter from our watersheds into Puget Sound. Once the litter reaches marine waters, it is almost impossible to remove, and the plastic gradually breaks down into tiny bits called microplastics, never completely decomposing. In addition, we are experiencing a crisis in recycling.
For decades, we have been exporting our recyclables to China. China has closed off this option and now we need to manage our recyclables, especially plastics, here in Washington. In this session, you will learn about these issues and more. We will also discuss legislation that has been introduced to address plastic pollution, our recycling crisis and other zero waste issues.