Learn what you can do to help tackle the plastic pollution problem in the local community.

The North Fork Environmental Council and North Fork Audubon Society have teamed up on a project to eliminate single use plastics across the North Fork.

The first meeting of the Plastic Reduction and Elimination Project of the North Fork will take place on Thursday, Jan. 31 at the Jamesport Meeting House, starting at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s in our bays, Sound and creeks; along our roadways, in our trees and on our beaches. It destroys our wildlife, poisons birds, fish and mammals and makes it way up the food chain. It is not biodegradable. It never goes away,” the two groups said in a joint announcement.

Here are “10 Shocking Facts About Plastic Pollution” from the Earth Day Network:

1 – Since plastic was introduced in the 1950s, 9.1 billion tons of it have been produced. The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity.

2 – Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated).

Foam box and Plastic packaging of Street food

3 – 91 percent of plastic waste isn’t recycled. And since most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, all that plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years.

4 – 500 million plastic straws are used every day in America. That’s enough to circle the Earth twice.

5 – Nearly 2 million single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every minute.

6 – 100 billion plastic bags are used by Americans every year. Tied together, they would reach around the Earth’s equator 773 times.

7 – 1 million plastic bottles are bought every minute around the world — and that number will top half a trillion by 2021. Less than half of those bottles end up getting recycled.

8 – 8 million metric tons of plastic winds up in our oceans each year. That’s enough trash to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full trash bags of plastic…compounding every year.

9 – There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way.

10 – If plastic production isn’t curbed, plastic pollution will outweigh fish pound for pound by 2050.

“We have solutions,” the North Fork Environmental Council and North Fork Audubon Society said. “We need you to help implement them.”

The Jamesport Meeting House is located at 1590 Main Road, Jamesport.

The NFEC asks people planning to attend to email their office.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.