The True Cost of Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution has become an epidemic. It is one of the most pressing environmental problems that we are faced with today, and it's only getting worse.

We live in a world where plastic is used for everything from straws to food packaging to shopping bags. Plastic doesn't biodegrade, so once it gets into our environment it stays there forever, entering our waterways and oceans where marine life can ingest it or get tangled up in it.

And then there's the problem of all those microplastics that don't even come from larger pieces of plastic--they're created when tiny particles break off from bigger pieces of plastic waste as they decompose! So what does this mean? What will happen if we don't do something about it? Let's take a look at some of the facts.

Plastic Pollution problem and Submission Shark's regenerative BJJ Brand

~ Every year, we produce 300 million tons of plastic and only about a tenth of it gets recycled.

~ Plastic takes up to 500 years to decompose.

~ It is estimated that there are now 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile in the world's oceans.

~ Microplastics can be ingested by marine life, which then enter the food chain.

~ The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now three times the size of France!

So what can we do about it? We need to start by reducing our use of disposable plastics. Bring your own reusable shopping bags when you go grocery shopping, bring your own water bottle and coffee mug, and say no to straws (or get a metal or bamboo straw instead). And when you do have to use disposable plastics, make sure they get recycled!

There are some great Regenerative BJJ brands out there that customers can vote with their dollars by supporting. These brands are committed to sustainable practices, from using organic cotton and hemp materials to producing products that biodegrade in a landfill. So let's all do our part to reduce plastic pollution and support these amazing companies!

The Problem with Plastics for local communities and businesses:

~ Plastic waste clogs waterways, preventing boats and fish from passing. This also creates breeding grounds for mosquitoes, leading to health problems such as malaria and dengue fever.

~ Plastic can cause serious damage to engines when it gets into the water supply of a city or town.

~ It costs local governments millions of dollars every year to clean up plastic pollution.

~ When plastics break down into tiny pieces they are ingested by marine life, which then enter the food chain.

Are you eating microplastics?

Sometimes, we don't even know when microplastics are present in our food because it's so hard to detect. One study found that a third of the fish they tested from markets in California and Indonesia had microplastics in their guts. Another study found that 83% of tap water samples from around the world contained microplastics.

So what can we do about it? The best way to avoid ingesting microplastics is to eat organic foods that have not been exposed to plastic pollution. But ultimately, the best way to reduce our plastic waste is to stop using disposable plastics altogether. Let's all do our part to reduce plastic pollution and support these amazing companies!

Submission Shark interviewed their plastic clean-up partner (Simon from Handprint.tech), a leader in regenerative practices and here's what his research has found.

The impact of plastics on marine wildlife can be broken down into two categories:

A. Direct physical impact:

These usually involve macroplastics, this is the direct impact of throwing a plastic water bottle into the ocean. Some of the causes of death from macroplastics within animal species include everything from entanglement, ingestion leading to suffocation and even starvation.

Submission Shark BJJ Ocean Plastic Clean Up

B. Secondary physiological impact:

If not removed quickly, macroplastics breakdown and then become microplastics. There is a considerable lack of transparency of chemicals used in the creation of plastics and as a result there is huge uncertainty in how these plastics breakdown in the environment and within humans and wildlife. WWF released a paper last year stating that humans ingest 5 grams of plastic a week (about the size of your credit card)!

~ No more plastic gift cards, send them virtually and share the benefits of removing plastic with your community! (Available in white, blue, purple, brown and black)

Compostable/Biodegradable Shipping Bags

Submission Shark is a Regenerative Jiu Jitsu brand that is using biodegradable/compostable shipping bags to deliver their BJJ gis. They will naturally decompose within 6 months without leaving and harmful residue.

It takes some time for the bag manufacturers to source new materials & make the transition away from plastic. The product purchasing team finds suppliers who can produce Bioplastics. This is not an easy thing as the delivery process of your new BJJ gi is very important to us - so the team has to be very selective on where we source our materials from.

From a manufacturer's standpoint, there are some challenges in making compostable/biodegradable bags. One big challenge is that many of these materials cost more than traditional plastics - so it can be difficult for companies to make a profit when using them.

However, Submission Shark believes the cost is worth the impact. With the helpful aid from another regenerative brand, (Tishwish) Submission Shark is able to provide high-quality BJJ gear while lowering the damage done with single-use plastics.

It is inspiring to see brands such as Tishwish taking the lead in producing biodegradable / compostable shipping bags. We hope that through your support we can help create awareness about the need for sustainable practices throughout the entire apparel industry supply chain.

For other items (Not BJJ Gi) Submission Shark has partnered with a fulfillment center network to lower delivery times and distance, leaving a lower carbon footprint. Here is a statement from them:

"We use PCR plastic packaging for all apparel orders shipped from our in-house facilities. The amount of PCR in the packaging differs for each fulfillment location, but it’s at least 50% for the outside (white or grey) poly mailer bags and at least 30% for the inside (clear) bags used in multi-item shipments.

PCR packaging protects the products just as well as virgin plastic bags, and they look almost the same. However, choosing PCR over virgin plastics reduces the environmental impact plastic has on our planet.

We know there’s still a lot left to do about our packaging footprint, and we’ll keep exploring greener options in the future."

How Customers Now Vote With Their Wallets For Regenerative BJJ Brands

As a regenerative Jiu Jitsu brand, we are noticing that more and more communities are transitioning to sustainable, regenerated materials and production methods. We believe this is a win-win situation for the customers and the environment.

Plastic Clean Up

As Regenerative BJJ brands start to make a larger impact on the industry, customers are voting with their wallets by supporting these amazing companies.

~ Every year, we produce 300 million tons of plastic and only about a tenth of it gets recycled.

~ Plastic takes up to 500 years to decompose.

~ It is estimated that there are now 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile in the world's oceans.

~ Microplastics can be ingested by marine life, which then enter the food chain.

~ The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now three times the size of France!

So what can we do about it? We need to start by reducing our use of disposable plastics. Bring your own reusable shopping bags when you go grocery shopping, bring your own water bottle and coffee mug, and say no to straws (or get a metal or bamboo straw instead). And when you do have to use disposable plastics, make sure they get recycled!

There are some great Regenerative BJJ brands out there that customers can vote with their dollars by supporting. These brands are committed to sustainable practices, from using organic cotton and hemp materials to producing products that biodegrade in a landfill

Conclusion: There is hope! If we all work together to reduce our plastic impact, there will be no need for this post in the future--because it wont exist anymore! However, even if you are unable to completely eliminate your use of plastics from your life, every little bit helps. So let's start making a difference, one step at a time!

~ Plastic pollution has become an epidemic, with serious consequences for our environment and health

~ Plastic doesn't biodegrade, so it accumulates in our environment forever

~ Marine life can ingest or get tangled up in plastic waste

~ Microplastics are created when tiny particles break off from bigger pieces of plastic waste as they decompose

~ If we don't do something about it, the problem will only get worse

~ There is hope! We can make a difference if we all work together to reduce our plastic impact. Even if you're unable to completely eliminate your use of plastics from your life, every little bit helps.

What Can You Do?

There are many ways you can help reduce plastic pollution in your community!

~ Bring your own reusable shopping bags when you go grocery shopping.

~ Bring your own glass water bottle to training.

~ Say no to straws or get a metal or bamboo one instead!

~ Buy products made from Regenerative BJJ brands. This way you can vote with your dollars by supporting these amazing companies!

Handprint.Tech and Submission Shark cleaning plastic

~ Submission Shark is dramatically reducing their plastic use, contributing to plastic-cleanup projects and leading the way as a regenerative leader within the BJJ and martial arts communities.

Learn more about Submission Shark's regenerative mission and how we are working with other innovative and sustainable brands to provide a solution to the plastic problem at no extra costs for you.

This blog post is written for the Submission Shark website, promoting its supporters. It also helps promote businesses who have aligned themselves with sustainability on all levels of business practices - socially, environmentally, economically & spiritually; while maintaining high quality standards at competitive prices.

Pivoting off those core values, Submission Shark has innovated to become one of the most sustainable companies who are making jiu jitsu apparel and BJJ gear.


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