Together, FC Cincinnati will join Newport Aquarium and WAVE Foundation in a two-week-long, plastic bag drive in the Queen City.
FCC fans can bring single-use plastic bags – like those distributed by grocery and retail stores – to the team’s matches at Nippert Stadium on Sunday, April 7, and Friday, April 19, where collections will be taken at the entry gates.
Additionally, Newport Aquarium is collecting plastic bags on-site through Sunday, April 21.
On Earth Day – Monday, April 22 – all three organizations will come together at Newport Aquarium for a special public event to demonstrate the impact the bag collection will have on local Cincinnati-area waterways and its wildlife, and at a larger scale in oceans.
Following the demonstration, the collected bags will be donated to Shari the Bag Lady and students at local schools and after-school programs, who will repurpose the bags into useful items, including sleeping mats for the area’s homeless community.
MLS WORKS Greener Goals Week of Service
The Cincinnati-area plastic bag collection is just one element of FC Cincinnati’s participation in MLS WORKS’ Greener Goals Week of Service, which will bring together teams, club staff and fans and supporters in every MLS city to improve the greater community.
Major League Soccer’s charitable arm, MLS WORKS oversees the league’s philanthropic efforts.
In addition to the plastic bag collection, FC Cincinnati’s Greener Goals Week of Service will also include a West End neighborhood clean-up project on Monday, April 15, in conjunction with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful.
The following day on Tuesday, April 16, the team will participate in a home refurbishment project in the West End in partnership with People Working Cooperatively.
FC Cincinnati’s players, staff and community members will come together for all of the team’s Greener Goals Week of Service Projects. Fans can volunteer at either event by registering at fccincinnati.com/greenergoals.
“MLS WORKS’ Greener Goals initiative provides the perfect opportunity to partner with the Newport Aquarium and the WAVE Foundation to bring awareness to the damaging impact plastic can have on the environment,” Kate Solomon, FC Cincinnati Vice President of Community Relations, said. “We hope our fans will help make an immediate impact on our local waterways by collecting their plastic bags and donating them at our home games at Nippert Stadium in April. Every bag we’re able to collect is one less bag polluting and hurting our local water sources.”
Why Plastic Bags?
Plastic bags that are not disposed of properly pose a tremendous hazard to marine life and water quality.
Sea creatures, specifically turtles, can often mistake plastic bags floating in water for one of its primary food sources: jellyfish. A recent Environmental Protection Agency report noted that 50 percent of sea turtles found dead had plastic bags in their digestive tracts. This phenomenon leaves them buoyant and unable to dive for food, leading to death by starvation.
“A sea of change is underway, and people want to do their part to ensure the future of our ocean animals,” said Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium Executive Director. “Eliminating our reliance on single-use plastic items such as plastic bags is a great first step. Our hope is people will start thinking and talking about ways they can make simple changes to help protect our ocean ecosystems and all the animals that live there. If everyone does their part, we can make a meaningful impact.”
Other animals also mistakenly eat floating plastic bags, and can also get caught up in the plastic, restricting their movement and often leading to injury or even death.
Once consumed by marine life, chemicals in the plastic bags have also led to genetic mutations and changes in various animals, making their species’ survival difficult.
ABOUT NEWPORT AQUARIUM
Newport Aquarium, named one of the top 10 U.S. aquariums in 2017 by USA Today’s 10Best.com, and one of the top U.S. aquariums in 2016 by Leisure Group Travel, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler and Destinations Travel Magazine in 2014, and also by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.
ABOUT WAVE FOUNDATION
WAVE Foundation, in partnership with Newport Aquarium, strives to excite, engage and educate our community about the wonders of aquatic life and the importance of conservation. Programs exist in three core focus areas: education, conservation and volunteerism. WAVE provides unique education curriculum and experiences for students of all ages; supports and provides leadership in local, national and global conservation efforts; and has a vibrant volunteer program with over 500 dedicated volunteers. To learn more, visit: www.wavefoundation.org