Think about all the plastic products you have bought, used, threw away, and recycled- today, this week, this year, your lifetime. All those shampoo bottles, Starbucks coffee cups, water bottles, straws, packaging, plastic kid toys – the list goes on forever.

Now picture your grandparents, parents, friends, neighbors, coworkers, ect. Every single piece of plastic that was ever created is still on this earth. In 2015, the annual global production of plastic reached a total amount that is equal to the weight of the human population – roughly 322 million metric tons (1).

That’s A LOT of waste.

What’s sad is that half of this waste is used for single use plastic like disposable uses and packaging (1). The plastic that we are creating isn’t even being used thoughtfully. We literally use it once and then throw it away. Just for our convenience, not thinking about where it will end up.

Are We a Lazy Society? Or Just Unaware?

Have we become such a mindless society that we are pilling our earth with waste just for our convenience?

  • The convenience of sucking liquid threw a plastic straw instead of sipping it out of a cup.
  • The convenience of using plastic bags instead of remembering to bring our own reusable bag.
  • The convenience of being able to grab a package off the shelf instead of filling our own container.

Most of the population doesn’t realize this is a problem – especially when they don’t particularly see it. The convenience of plastic is ruining our beaches, oceans and entire planet.

Is Our Planet Already Damaged?

Some of the world’s best beach destinations are now ruined because of the plastic that has washed up and polluted the land. Rivers and water ways have contaminated water sources in many regions of the world.

Our marine life is already dying. If they aren’t getting tangled in it, they are mistaking the plastic particles floating in our oceans for food. Even if they do find their natural food source, that certain animal could have plastic or microplastics in their system. The amount of microplastic goes up in the food chain- similar to pesticides (1).

Full Circle: Our Waste is Making Its Way Back to Us

Eventually we, as a human race, are consuming our own plastic waste. The tiny microplastics get back into our food source and we consume the broken down plastic water bottles, garbage bags and toothbrushes.

Kind of gross, huh?

This is very concerning to not only towards animal health, but towards human health as well. Microplastics can become very toxic, especially the longer they are in the environment with sun and heat exposure. The plastic acts like a sponge and soaks up organic chemicals like DDT and PCBs which are harmful to our bodies (2).

Let’s Start Loving Our Earth

Let’s stop this global problem now before we ruin our beloved planet anymore. The uses of plastic are not worth the damage.

There are tons of ways to avoid plastic– so let’s do it!

Challenge yourself to start living a plastic free life. Be aware of what you purchase the next time you go shopping or out to the grocery store. Support ecofriendly businesses. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Shop from your local markets.

Together let’s help save our planet by vowing to avoid plastic usage by adapting a more zero-waste lifestyle. Do you have any suggestions on how to reduce the amount of plastic and waste in your life?

 

  1. Worm, B., Lotze, H. K., Jubinville, I., Wilcox, C., & Jambeck, J. (2017). Plastic as a persistent marine pollutant. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 42, 1-26.
  2. Weiss, Kenneth R. The pileup of plastic debris is more than ugly ocean litter. https://www.knowablemagazine.org/article/sustainability/2017/pileup-plastic-debris-more-ugly-ocean-litter?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Annual_Reviews_TrendMD_0

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