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Reducing Single-Use Plastic in U.S. Aquariums
by Aquarium Conservation Partnership (Partnership)
Plastic pollution is a problem that affects waterbodies and wildlife across the country and around the world from mountain streams, to the Great Lakes, to rivers running to the sea, and throughout major ocean basins. Over the past few years, there has been a surge of research on the amount of plastic pollution in the aquatic environment and its impact on wildlife and ecosystems, and even human health.

The Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP) is a two-year (2016-17) pilot project designed to increase the collective impact of aquariums on shared ocean and freshwater conservation goals. The ACPs priority conservation goal for the 2016-17 pilot period is to reduce the sources of ocean and freshwater plastic pollution. Tackling this challenge in a meaningful way will take concerted action by consumers, industry, and government. ACP aquariums bring unique and powerful assets to catalyze action by each of these groups, as educational institutions with tens of millions of visitors to institutions each year, science-based sources of information with credibility among policy and decision-makers, and business leaders with relationships with corporations who can be change-makers at the national and even international level.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Plastics product bans or restrictions
December 2020
Significantly reduce or eliminate single-use plastic beverage bottles in ACP institutions by December 1, 2020.
December 2020
Provide and showcase innovative alternatives to single-use plastic for ACP institution visitors.
July 2017
Eliminate plastic straws and single-use take-away plastic bags in ACP institutions by July 4, 2017.
Other, please specify
Funding to be mobilized from within ACP institutions
Basic information
Time-frame: July 2017 - December 2020
Aquarium of the Pacific, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, AZA, California Academy of Sciences, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Mystic Aquarium, National Aquarium, New England Aquarium, North Carolina at Fort Fischer, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Seattle Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, South Carolina Aquarium, Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, Texas State Aquarium, The Florida Aquarium, Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, Wildlife Conservation Society
Ocean Basins
  • North Atlantic
  • North Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Aimee David, Monterey Bay Aquarium Policy Program Director, adavid@mbayaq.org,
Other SDGs
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