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.