Single-Use Plastics are Dangerous & Old Fashioned; Time for a New Way of Thinking

We live in a society obsessed with convenience, and that obsession has made plastic king. Though humankind has greatly benefited from plastic, the environmental costs of this reigning polymer may bring about our downfall.  Earth 911

 

I began writing about the dangers of single-use plastics and the damage they inflict on our environment in 2008. At that time, I thought surely once people understood how harmful plastics were they would want to do something.

I WAS WRONG!

To my shock, I found many people who were insulted and angry at the thought of giving up their plastic bags and bottles. 

I thought surely once people understood, the massive numbers of birds, animals, sea creatures of every type that are maimed, killed, that needlessly suffer, that people would want to change … to spread the word.

I WAS WRONG!

We are fast reaching a tipping point where there is more plastic trash and debris than plankton. It is projected that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish! I’m betting it will be sooner than that!

This issue is not like global warming! There is no argument. The evidence is right is front of us. Many believe that the issues surrounding the dumping of plastics in our oceans and in our environment are MORE serious than climate change.

Remember, we are what we leave behind!

As we approach 2018, ask yourself what your legacy will be?

Again from Earth 911:

As any good eco-warrior knows, prevention starts at home. There are a number of ways you can avoid adding to the growing plastic pollution problem.

  • Stop using disposable plastics: The vast majority of the plastic products we encounter on a daily basis are used once and then thrown away. Think about it: grocery bags, disposable cutlery, straws, coffee cup lids — how many times do you use these things more than once? The best thing you can do is to replace these items with reusable versions. Bring your own bags to the store, carry a travel mug to the coffee shop, and stash silverware and a reusable water bottle in your bag.
  • Blacklist products that contain microbeads: Micro-beads are found in beauty products from facial scrubs to toothpaste. Though these tiny plastic beads seem harmless, their size allows them to slip through filters at water-treatment plants and make it to the ocean — where they end up being eaten by fish. Use products that have natural exfoliants, like oatmeal, sugar or salt, instead.
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle: If you’re not sure what can go in the bin, check out this handy guide: The Ultimate Plastic Breakdown.
  • Advocate for a bag tax or ban: Encourage your elected officials to join multiple other cities and counties by introducing legislation that would make plastic bag use less worthwhile.
  • Insist manufacturers do better: Write a letter, make a phone call or contact companies via social media compelling your favorite companies to use eco-friendly packaging. If they brush you off, you can hit them where it really hurts and give your money to more-sustainable competitors.

 

Single-Use Plastic Bags & Bottles Destructive to Our Oceans, Our World

There was a time, not that long ago when you would see countless cigarette butts littering the landscape. Then, something happened ever so slowly, the ugly disgusting cigarette butts began disappearing from bars and restaurants, parking lots, sidewalks, beaches, ashtrays in public and private buildings.

People finally got the message that smoking was not cool but was detrimental to health of everyone surrounded by the smoker.

Can the same thing happen with single-use plastic bags and bottles? I think it can … with YOUR help.  Imagine a world without plastic debris and SAY NO TO PLASTICS

Is It Time For a Worldwide Ban on Single-use Plastic Bags?

Let me state for the record, that with few exceptions, I do not like governmental bans or restrictions on personal behavior. That means the number of ounces of soda one can drink, or the amount on salt or kind of light bulbs that can be used; all should be off limits to the nosey bureaucrats’ intent on controlling every aspect of our daily lives.
There are, however, exigent circumstances when the harm being done is so massive that intervention in the form of bans is necessary. So it is with the worldwide pollution caused by the indiscriminate use of plastics for convenience rather than necessity.
Unlike climate change, very few are challenging the reality of the plastic trash and debris crisis. Estimates of single-use plastic bags range from 500 billion to 1 trillion bags worldwide every year. Virtually no corner of the globe has been left uncovered by plastic trash. Very few pristine locations remain unsullied.
Whether we are talking about whales off the coast of Spain , cows in India, or camels in the Egyptian desert or monkeys in East Java, globally many thousands of animals die ingesting plastics and then dying of starvation every year.
The Blue Danube is loaded with more trash than fish. Mount Everest is a mountain of trash and garbage. It is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of ocean pollution comes directly from plastics in the form of plastic bags, toothbrushes, containers of every shape and description, toys, and bottles. Time Magazine covered The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 2012, one of the Five Gyres circulating in the oceans.

When Rolling Stone covered the Plastic Bag Wars in 2011, they noted that American shoppers used 102 billion plastic bags yearly. That figure has gone up to 380 billion bags yearly. It is very easy for a family of four to go through 500 plastic bags a year. Remember these are bags designed to last forever and are only used for 15 minutes or less on average.

With all this plastic being produced every year, you’d better believe manufacturers are fighting back using intimidation and litigation in their arsenal of tactics.

Why should you care?

  1. Plastic never goes away. Every piece of plastic produced in the last 50 years still exists unless it was recycled.
  2. 93% of Americans aged six or older have tested positive for BPA, a cancer causing chemical used in plastics.
  3. The search for lost Malaysian flight 370 has been hampered by the global marine litter crisis, as reported by CNN.
  4. The Plastic Bag Report lists 27 states, multiple countries, 102 cities in California and EU with complete bag bans or bans in various stages of legislation.
  5. The list of species testing positive for plastic in their bodies is growing, including 44 percent of all birds, 22 percent of cetaceans and turtles.

A better question is what kind of world do you want to leave to future generations? We are after all only as good as what we leave behind. As Captain Charles Moore notes we should be living our lives like it matters.

 

 

 

Will We Finally Get Serious About “Saying No to Plastic” in 2014?

 Plastic is a bigger danger than global warming, or at least it is in the immediate sense, considering it is snuffing out the lowest common denominator in the food chain, says Neil Seldman, a waste recycling expert and president of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, an organization with a long track record of promoting sustainable communities.

Will 2014 be the year we finally get serious about, “Saying NO to Plastics”?

Forget the hokum about global warming. Plastic pollution can be seen everywhere. This problem is here now not some place in the distant future.

 The vast amount of plastic trash that enters the oceans is a real problem, a problem that grows ever omnipresent on a hourly basis.

Plastic-Dinner

 Plastic pollution is destroying the world’s ocean ecosystems. The real problem with all the plastic entering the oceans is the fact that it never degrades. It photodegrades into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic particles.

 Billions upon billions of smaller and smaller plastic pieces have now become part of the food chain finally absorbed within zooplankton.

 The oceans are constantly in motion.  Areas called gyres pull in waste from one part of the world and bring to other side of the world. As the plastic photodegrades into barely visible pieces, plankton have plastic debris in their bodies. Zoo-plankton are at the core of the marine food chain.

 This situation is so dire that we have places in the oceans where plastic debris outnumbers plankton.

 Unfortunately, that is not the worst of it. When birds, fish, and other sea creatures and  mammals ingest plastic debris which they mistake plastic bottle caps and bits and pieces for food’ the consequences often lead to a long slow death.

 When these creatures consume plastic debris they suffer with blockages of digestive tract followed by satiation, starvation and general debilitating and finally death.

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The US Costly Addiction to Plastic; Beijing Bans US Imports of Trash!

Operation Green Fence, a campaign by Chinese customs to strictly enforce laws governing the import of waste, “could be a game changer,” says Doug Kramer, president of Kramer Metals, an international scrap dealer in Los Angeles. “A lot of companies have used China as a dumping ground, getting rid of … substandard scrap and trash,” Mr. Kramer says.

CHINA PLASTIC TRASH HEAP The headlines were recently blaring …Beijing bans US imports of trash! That one my friends, is a very big headline. Bet you didn’t know our biggest export to China is our trash!

Yes, we export more trash than soybeans or wheat. It seems, except for green crusaders, very few people, politicians, or people in the MSM want to acknowledge the silent nightmare that plastic trash and garbage presents.

Instead of pushing climate change policies EPA should be pushing plastics policies!  We are entering a period of global cooling.