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Reducing plastic waste in Maryland to protect the environment

The Plastics Issue

Do you go to restaurants and automatically get a plastic straw in your drinks? Do you use plastic/styrofoam take-out containers? When you order takeout, do you bring it home in a plastic bag with extra plastic utensils that immediately get thrown in the trash? We are all used to this disposal plastic …but some of it ends up in our streams, rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and ultimately the ocean! Sea turtles, whales, fish, and birds are just a few of the creatures that end up ingesting or getting tangled up in this plastic or pieces of plastic. 

The PlasticWatch Project

With the PlasticWatch project, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) Chesapeake Biological Laboratory is partnering with local restaurants in Maryland to offer alternatives to single-use plastic products, such as biodegradable straws or the option of having no straws at all! In this pilot project, we are starting in Solomons, MD, so come visit!

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Helen Bailey and her team.

We Need Your Help

We want to learn more about where and what type of plastic trash occurs in the Bay. Help our research and efforts to clean the Bay by taking photos of plastic that you see in the water and sharing it with us on our UMCES PlasticWatch Instagram account!