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Finally, in a Divided America, Something 81% Can Agree on: Poll Commissioned by Endowment for Clean Oceans Shows Widespread Voter Concern About the Trillions of Pieces of Plastic in the Ocean

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A recent Zogby Analytics nationwide online survey of 1,200 likely voters in the U.S. (find cross tabs here), commissioned by the Endowment for Clean Oceans, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%, found:

  • 81% of likely voters are concerned about “the trillions of macro and micro pieces of plastics in the oceans,” of that 46% are very concerned and 35% are somewhat concerned.

The United Nations estimates there are 51 trillion pieces of micro plastic now in the ocean. The most widely accepted estimate of macro pieces of plastic in the ocean is 5 trillion. There are an estimated 3.5 trillion fish in the ocean. In other words, estimates are that there are sixteen times more macro and micro pieces of plastic in the ocean than there are fish.

The responses of voters concerned about the trillions of macro and micro pieces of plastic in the ocean were virtually identical between those with a career (81.9%) and those in the ‘gig economy’ (81.8%).

Interestingly, the difference between those sympathetic to the Tea Party (81.7%) and those sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street (85.5%) was 3.8%, just slightly more than the poll’s 3.1% margin of error.

The percentage of likely voters who are gun owners who are concerned about the trillions of micro and macro pieces of plastic in the ocean (80.5%) is virtually identical to the percentage of likely voters who have never owned a gun (80.2%).

The consensus crossed demographic and generational as well as political divides. Substantial majorities of Millennials—age 18-29 (80%), and Boomers—age 65+ (86%), were “very” and “somewhat concerned” about the trillions of pieces of plastic in the ocean.

“It’s safe to say that everybody of every political stripe, from those sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street and those who have never owned a gun to those sympathetic to the Tea Party and those who own a gun – everyone is concerned about the trillions of pieces of plastic in the ocean,” said Daniel Perrin, Founder and CEO, Endowment for Clean Oceans. “As well they should be, it’s a complete outrage that no global, systemic system has been deployed to clean up the ocean and we still have not replaced plastics with a true, actually biodegradable material.”

“Through our two plastics contest we aim to find a truly biodegradable and economically viable replacement for the five most commonly used plastics, and to find and promote the best technology or plan to systemically, on a global scale, remove the micro and macro plastics in the ocean,” said Perrin. “Pierre-Yves Cousteau taught me it’s ‘the ocean’ because 71% of the Earth is covered in water and is one continuous body of water -- thus it’s ‘the ocean.’”

Here are some more Zogby poll results:

  • 80% of likely voters are more likely “to shop in a store that was working to find an innovative solution to remove micro and macro pieces of plastic from the ocean,” of which 46% were very likely and 34% were somewhat likely.
  • 84% shoppers who shopped at Amazon every week and 77% of shoppers who shopped at WalMart every week were more likely “to shop in a store that was working to find an innovative solution to remove micro and macro pieces of plastic from the ocean.”
  • 83% of likely voters -- 80% of males and 86% of females -- would be more likely “to shop in a store that was working to find a truly bio-degradable and economically viable replacement for plastic.” Of these voters, 51% would be very likely and 32% would be somewhat likely.

Of the 83% of voters who would be more likely “to shop in a store that was working to find a truly bio-degradable and economically viable replacement for plastic,” 86% were Democrats and 78% were Republicans.

Of the 83% of likely voters who were more likely “to shop in a store that was working to find a truly bio-degradable and economically viable replacement for plastic,” 86% were current gun owners and 82% had never owned a gun, 81% were NASCAR fans and 85% “self IDed as social networkers” and 78% shopped at WalMart every week while 87% were every week Amazon shoppers.

About Endowment for Clean Oceans

Endowment for Clean Oceans is now raising the funds for two contests, one which is for a $1 million prize for the best idea or technology to remove the macro and micro pieces of plastic from the ocean. The second contest is for $5 million to find a truly biodegradable and economically viable replacement for the five most commonly used plastics. Documentaries will be made of both contests so viewers can see the ideas and technology presented and how and why the judges picked the winners.

More About the Poll

For the Zogby Poll result Frequencies, click here and for the Methodology, click here.

Contact information

Endowment for Clean Oceans
Daniel Perrin
Daniel.Perrin@endowmentforcleanoceans.org

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