19 aquariums across US part of effort to reduce plastics

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CHICAGO (AP) — Nineteen aquariums across the U.S. are partnering in an effort to reduce plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, rivers and oceans.

The new Aquarium Conservation Partnership announced Monday includes Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium and National Aquarium in Baltimore

Shedd Aquarium officials say the Chicago tourist destination already has eliminated plastic bags and plastic straws and they’re looking for ways to eliminate other single-use plastic items.

The partnership also is launching a national campaign called “In Our Hands” to educate aquarium visitors about single-use plastics and alternatives.

Shedd Aquarium President and CEO Bridget Coughlin says about 22 million pounds of plastic end up in the Great Lakes each year. She says that’s “equivalent to 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled with bottles.”

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