• Outdoors Outdoors

Video reveals shocking amount of plastic cutlery pulled out of the ocean: 'It has to be banned'

"All of this single-use plastic [was used] for about a couple minutes and tossed away."

“All of this single-use plastic [was used] for about a couple minutes and tossed away."

Photo Credit: @4Ocean / TikTok

It's no secret that there is an alarming amount of plastic in our oceans — in fact, there are an estimated 170 trillion pieces of plastic in total. 4Ocean, a company dedicated to reducing that number, shares shocking TikToks of what that pollution looks like and simple tips we can all take to reduce our plastic use. 

The scoop

In a recent video, 4Ocean showed how plastic cutlery — the kind you get with to-go orders or while eating at places like sporting events — is ending up in our oceans in epic proportions. 

"All of this single-use plastic [was used] for about a couple minutes and tossed away," a 4Ocean team member explains while holding a tub full of plastic forks and knives. "The only issue is, a lot of the times, it doesn't go away. It's going to end up in a landfill, a river, potentially the ocean, or a coastline just like this."

@4ocean Let's do our part by saying no to plastic pollution and yes to sustainable solutions 🤝🌊 #singleuseplastic #singleusealternative #oceanlove ♬ original sound - 4ocean, PBC

The video shows piles of cutlery being picked up from shorelines and piled high — a sobering sight. 

How it's helping

As described in the video, single-use plastic is plastic that is created for one purpose and then is thrown out directly after use. Examples of single-use plastic include product packaging, water bottles, and plastic cutlery. 

While much of this plastic is recyclable, most of it isn't reaching recycling plants. In the U.S., only about 5% of plastics are recycled, according to a report by Greenpeace. But while the mountains of cutlery and these stats can seem scary, 4Ocean is not only working on the ground to clean up beaches and oceans; it's also offering simple ways you can cut down on your plastic usage. 

"One thing that you can do right now to have a massive impact is bring a reusable piece of cutlery," the video instructs. "Take one small step on a day-to-day basis of what you can do to cut down on the amount of plastic that's being consumed and potentially ending up in our oceans."

What everyone's saying

TikTokers were quick to support 4Ocean's suggestions for cutting down on single-use plastic, and many want to see the problem solved for good. 

"It has to be banned," one person commented. "In France and in the European Union we banned it. It is a shame for all of us to see our ocean like this."

"These are polluting the ocean so much," another said. "Thank you for your hard work in cleaning up this plastic waste. Here's a thumbs up for you!"

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