San Luis Obispo Chapter



Rise Above Plastics (RAP) Activist Toolkit

Help reduce plastic waste in your community with this toolkit. This is a step by step guide to creating positive change in your community through reducing single-use plastics. You’ll also find insight on increasing awareness of plastic pollution issues through education and outreach.


RAP Facts

  • The amount of plastic produced from 2000 – 2010 exceeds the amount produced during the entire last century. [1]
  • Plastic is the most common type of marine litter worldwide. [2]
  • An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and up to 1 million sea birds die every year after ingesting or being tangled in plastic marine litter. [3]
  • Up to 80% of the plastic in our oceans comes from land-based sources. [4]
  • Plastics comprise up to 90% of floating marine debris. [5]
  • In 2009 about 3.8 million tons of waste plastic “bags, sacks and wraps” were generated in the United States, but only 9.4% of this total was recycled. [6]
  • Plastics do not biodegrade, but instead break down into small particles that persist in the ocean, absorb toxins, and enter our food chain through fish, sea birds and other marine life. [7]
  • Plastic bags are problematic in the litter stream because they float easily in the air and water, traveling long distances and never fully breaking down in water.
  • Cleanup of plastic bags is costly. California spends $25 million annually to landfill discarded plastic bags, and public agencies spend more than $300 million annually in litter cleanup. [8]
  • It is estimated that Americans go through about 100 billion plastic bags a year, or 360 bags per year for every man, woman and child in the country. [9]

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