Plastics and foam containers do not go away once we throw them in the bin. Even though some is recycled in developed countries, a large portion of it makes its way into our waterways and eventually our oceans. Once there, plastic particles do not go away, they are instead broken down into smaller and smaller pieces, which release toxic chemicals as they break down. There is currently no large-scale oceanic clean up in progress, so unless the plastic washes up on the beach and is collected, all of the plastic that is in the ocean is there to stay.
We wouldn’t have to do beach and underwater clean-ups if the plastic and foam wasn’t used in the first place! When out at restaurants or bars, ask for no straw. Eat at the restaurants instead of getting take away, or bring your own containers and get your own mug for coffee and drinks. When shopping, bring a reusable bag with you. It takes a bit of pre-planning sometimes, but a little extra thought on your part prevents magnitudes of damage to the environment. If you feel like really making a change, try cutting out plastic altogether; start with a month (http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/
) and see if you can continue throughout the year. There are plenty of tips online that may give you some ideas on how to do this.