Sailing school joins in national campaign to purge oceans of plastic waste

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    LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) – Around 300 American Sailing Association schools are working to keep plastic out of the nation’s waterways.

    The Myrtle Beach Sailing School, a local ASA affiliate, has joined in the movement, called Operation Plastic Pollution Purge.

    “We all get together and while we’re patrolling the waterways doing our lessons and such, we’re looking for plastic to clean off the waterways,” said Jason Cox, instructor with the Myrtle Beach Sailing School.

    Cox said he works to pick up trash every time he hits the water and the beach.

    “With my family we tend to grab three pieces of trash every time we leave,” he said.

    Boaters said the plastic problem isn’t just an issue in the Grand Strand; it’s happening throughout the country.

    Researchers with Institute of International Affairs said Americans throw out an average of 10 plastic bags each week. The United Nations estimates that by 2050, there will be more plastic debris in oceans than fish.

    “If we as a community take the time to clean up the plastic and cut back on our non-reusable plastic, like bags and water bottles, it could help eliminate what’s getting into the water,” said Cox.

    He added it’s not just litter in the water people should be mindful of. With the recent heavy rain, plastic on city streets is washing into the drains, which go out into the ocean.

    “It’s going to find its way back into the ocean and into sea life’s digestion system,” Cox said.

    Operation Plastic Purge will go on through the sailing season. Those who are interested in joining should click here.

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