On Earth Day 2019 the Aquarium of the Pacific, along with nearly two dozen other aquariums across the United States, is committing to new practices to bring the facility closer to eliminating single-use plastic.
Together these institutions are committing to:
- significantly reduce or eliminate single-use plastic packaging in retail products by 2021
- reduce single-use plastic in back-of-house operations by 2021
- ensure all dining area tableware—including plates, cups, lids, dishes, and utensils—is single-use plastic-free by 2021.
The aquariums, which formed the Aquarium Conservation Partnership in 2016, have previously eliminated plastic straws except upon request and single-use plastic shopping bags in their facilities. They have also committed to reducing or eliminating plastic beverage bottles by 2020.
The Aquarium of the Pacific has worked to reduce waste across several programs, including in its water quality lab and in food service during sleepovers. Washing and reusing plastic items in the water quality lab has eliminated over 500 pounds of plastic waste. By switching to reusable plates, cups, and utensils used during sleepovers, the education department has diverted more than 5,000 pieces of plastic trash from the landfill.