We seldom think about the transportation required for the goods we purchase online or in stores, but everything that is made overseas must make a long journey, usually initially on ships across the ocean, to where we find them on the shelf. While most of us recognize that this shipping process consumes energy, we might not realize that it can also lead to plastic pollution in the oceans when an accident occurs. These products are packed into large shipping containers which sit on top of cargo ships, presumably securely tied on, with about 148 million shipping containers sent each year. However, according to the World Shipping Council, more than 1,500 containers are lost annually due to ships capsizing or running aground, or during heavy seas…causing their contents, much of it plastic, to spill into the ocean and eventually wash up onto shorelines around the world. If all of us try to buy locally made products, it will not only keep such plastic out of the oceans, but will help support manufacturing in our own communities and countries!

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