This offseason, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has often been in the headlines due to plenty of speculation on his supposed dissatisfaction with Coach Bill Belichick. However, he recently turned his attention to a non-football related issue: the amount of plastic waste in the ocean.
In a post on Instagram, the elite quarterback joined his wife in using the hashtag #BeatPlasticPollution and pledged not to use single-use straws anymore. In the video Brady says to tell plastic straws we won’t fall for their “ruse” anymore, and to “say no” if we are offered one.
The post was made on World Conservation Day, and Brady tagged the United Nations Environment Program, joining a larger movement that aimed to get as many people as possible to commit to actions that could help reduce plastic pollution.
Though it may not seem like much, during their International Coastal Cleanup, the Ocean Conservatory collected 409,380 plastic straws, placing straws as the seventh most common item found on the beach worldwide. In the United States, straws were the sixth most common item collected, and these are just the straws people picked up before they made their way into the ocean.
People in the comments of Brady’s post mostly offered support, with one commenter even saying they now bring their own reusable straws with them because of Brady’s suggestion.
It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to reducing the overwhelming amount of plastic waste in the ocean, but by following Brady’s advice and saying no when plastic straws are offered, one less item has the chance to become pollution. Because a plastic straw could take up to 200 days to decompose, it is even more important to keep them out of our ecosystems. Bringing your own reusable straw, or just drinking without one is easy for you and could pay dividends for the environment if only enough people would make the no-single-use-straw commitment like Brady.