Of the many environmental problems we face today, plastic pollution has become such a major crisis that is estimated there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050!
To this day, more than 200 animal species have been documented consuming plastic. Seabirds have especially been affected, with 90% of them mistaking it for food & consuming it as a normal part of their diet.
The use of plastic has changed the way we live, especially in the convenience aspect. Over the years, plastic has been able to revolutionize the way we shop & consume; but this throwaway mentality isn’t benefiting anyone.
Not only is plastic responsible for the deaths of millions of animals each year, but can also directly affect our health.
Although recycling can help keep some of the plastic from polluting the environment, it is not quite the solution. Usually, plastic is not recycled but instead downcycled into products that cannot be recycled again.
Also, many recycling facilities are unable to accept every type of plastic. To give you an example, the recycling center in my city only accept plastic types #1 & #2, leaving out the 5 other types of plastic. To top it all off, 91% of plastic isn’t recycled!
Over the decades, we have become so accustomed to the use of plastic, leaving many of us confused on how to start reducing it’s used. If you’re not quite ready to break up with plastic entirely, you can start by making these simple changes to help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans & landfills!
Here are a few simple swaps you could make today for a better tomorrow:
1 million plastic bottles are bought every minute across the globe and is why carrying a reusable water bottle can make such a difference. PET is the material most commonly used for the production of plastic bottles and takes over 400 years to decompose, only to have been used for a couple of hours.
Eliminating plastic bottles will also keep you from consuming micro-plastics. In a recent study, it was found that more than 90% of tested water bottles contained micro-plastics than ranged from ten to thousands. Included in the study where popular brands Nestle Pure Life, Dasani & Evian.
By using a reusable bottle, not only will you be cutting down on your plastic waste & the consumption of micro-plastics, but you’ll also save money!
500 million straws are estimated to be used each day by Americans. Shrinking the number can be accomplished by making a switch to a stainless steel straw!
Tip: make sure you mention “no straw” whenever you order a drink to avoid having it in your cup when they bring it to you! I’ve had this happen to me a few times and felt so bad afterward.
Before knowing the dangers of plastic, I was a big fan of plastic food wrap and used it for almost everything! But those times are long gone. The wonderful thing is that Beeswax wraps exist! They are made from cotton, beeswax, are reusable and washable! You can use them for pretty much everything and with proper care, can last up to a year.
Who doesn’t love grabbing their morning coffee from their local coffee shop; taking it with you on your morning routine and then dispose of the cup in the trash when you’re done. Simple right? I used to think that getting coffee in a disposable “cardboard” cup was okay since I believed it would decompose, but I was wrong. The truth is that coffee cups are actually lined with plastic and because of it cannot be recycled.
Purchasing a reusable coffee cup is a great investment, especially considering the fact that almost all coffee shops will provide you with a discount for bringing your own cup! It’s a win-win. Reduce your plastic waste & get rewarded for it.
I personally am a fan of having a single purpose cup that can carry both hot and cold liquids, like the Atlin cup!