The first thing many attendees at the 2015 ICAST Show in Orlando was a sculpture of a marlin made 100 percent out of trash from the Pacific Ocean found on the beaches of Oregon. The piece was commissioned by Costa Sunglasses to raise awareness about the huge problem of plastic waste in our oceans.
Costa acknowledges that as makers of plastic products, they have some work to do themselves. They decided it was time to start a movement called "Kick Plastic" that is aimed at encouraging anyone within earshot to do their part to reduce the amount of plastic we use. That plastic ultimately could end up swirling in the Texas-sized floating mess of plastic debris in the Pacific known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" or in similar phenomena around the world.
Costa kicked off the project by pledging to reduce packaging wherever possible, using more recycled materials and continually looking for more ways to make changes that will help eradicate this issue.
Some of the tips that Costa listed on the project's website that will help "Kick Plastic" are as follows:
• Stop using plastic bottles. A reusable bottle is better for the environment, more cost efficient and keeps your drink colder longer.
• Say goodbye to grocery bags. Plastic grocery bags can be replaced with reusable ones. Yes, even produce bags.
• Buying in bulk makes a big impact. Sometimes we don’t notice the amount of packaging that comes with each product, but it adds up pretty fast.
• Take plastic out of takeout. Decline bags and utensils when ordering takeout. You can even ask restaurants to pack food in your own containers.
• Reel in old line. Change your fishing line routinely to keep old, stretched line out of our oceans where it can harm sea life. To learn more about monofilament recycling, visit BoatUS.org.
This video, produced by Costa, dropped some staggering facts: Over 200 billion plastic bottles are manufactured each year, including 35 billion in the U.S. alone–and 10 percent of them end up in our oceans. Plastics in the ocean kill over a million sea birds annually, and two thirds of all fish now test positive for plastics.
The thing is, these changes are pretty easy to make, and the amount of plastic finding its way into the ocean can drop exponentially as this "Kick Plastic" movement reaches more and more people.
"Plastic is everywhere, it's unavoidable," said Al Perkinson, vice president of marketing for Costa. "But we, as anglers, can work together to make small changes that will create a huge positive impact, such as swapping out our plastic bottles for a permanent one, or collecting plastic we find on the beaches and recycling it." "Our goal with the 'Kick Plastic' campaign is to start conversations within the angling community about how we can all work together to address this issue head on," said Perkinson. "If left unchecked, we can assume our oceans will be taken over with floating, melting plastic in a very short time."
Here’s another cool video showing how artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi created the marlin sculpture.
For more information, visit Costadelmar.com/inside-costa/kick-plastic