Think you don’t use a lot of plastic or that plastic is an issue that doesn’t concern you? Well, think again.
The use of BPA, or bisphenol A, is back in the news. Don’t know what that is? It started out as an artificial sex hormone that is used to give plastic added strength!
B.P.A. is an additive commonly used in the manufacture of plastic water, baby bottles, food and beverage can linings, and dental sealants.
Developmental biologist at the University of Missouri, Dr. Frederick vom Saal, found that B.P.A. mimics naturally occurring estrogen. “These hormones control the development of the brain, the reproductive system and many other systems in the developing fetus,” said vom Saal.
Some critics have concluded that exposure to B.P.A. poisoning increases the risk of the womb to certain cancers, impede on fertility, and may contribute to childhood behavioral problems such as hyperactivity.
It should be noted that as we have increased our use of plastics many times over since the 60’s that there has also been an increase in the risks noted above. Coincidence? I think not. The only studies conducted to find a causal link have been funded by the plastics industry. It should not come as a surprise then, that the plastics industry which produced 700 billion pounds of the stuff last year, hasn’t been able to find a link.
If you want to make a difference, here are your first two challenges. Both require you to take an inventory of your personal plastic usage.
- Go into every room of your house and see where you find plastic. Explore your refrigerator, your kitchen cabinets, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, and garage or storage areas. Look in every room and take note. Don’t forget your kids notebooks or your office supplies including pens, paper clips.
- For the next week save every piece of plastic you use. Be sure you have enough room to store it; and don’t forget include more than your water bottles. If you bought meat, cookies, shampoo, aspirin, dog food, batteries, there’s a plastic associated with that purchase. You need to count fast food containers, straws, covers on coffee cups, etc.
Once you take your own inventory, you may be surprised as to how much plastic you really use and never thought about. Then ask yourself how you dispose of all this plastic. If you are not recycling and reusing, you are part of the problem.
Next time you put that plastic cup, or bottle to your lips, ask yourself if there isn’t a better way.
This is such an important issue, please pay this message forward and consider a donation of time and talent to the Ocean Keepers cause. We can do this!