Picture this...its Sunday night, you are grocery shopping and meal prepping for your big week ahead. You have sandwiches lined up to go into their individual plastic baggies, and you've got your chopped veggies ready to be wrapped in cling-wrap.
Seems perfectly harmless and pretty normal, so what's the big deal?
ALL THE PLASTIC.Its causing more harm to the environment and to your body than you might have realized 👀
So what is plastic?
Plastic is derived from oil, natural gas, and coal.
For plastic to get its flexibility and mold shape, there are specific chemical additives used in the process of creating it. Some of the more well known ones include BPA, BPS, and phthalates. All of which are endocrine interrupters (chemicals that can interfere with endocrine systems. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders).
So while buying plastic products may be cheap and convenient in the short term, we are beginning to see how much it will cost to our health and planet in the long run.
"Plastic uses vital non-renewable natural resources that could be put to better use elsewhere. 10% of our oil production is for plastic. The manufacturing process uses tons of energy, pollutes the air with incineration and plastic particles, and exposes workers to toxic chemicals."-goingzerowaste
Another major reason why we need to cut back majorly on plastic is the fact that it takes a VERY LONG time to breakdown- did you know that every molecule of plastic created since 1907 is still present in the environment!?
However “breaking down” is not necessarily decomposing. Difference being plastic particles become microscopic in size but remain mostly intact as “plastic”. By contrast biodegradable material turns back into basic elements like carbon dioxide, water, salt, etc., all of which is used by living things to grow (hence sustainable).
By design plastic is meant to not decompose easily (which is why its so strong) and by definition does not “fit” into the natural cycle of sustainability.
Because plastic doesn’t adhere to the natural cycle of decomposing, it is a massive problem for the health of our oceans, including the health of marine life, because so much plastic ends up in the ocean.
Marine life is a massive part of the food chain for humans, so this is why its so vital we stop this plastic waste cycle.
This can be an overwhelming realization, but its so vital and important to be informed on this. The future is quite literally in our hands and every little decision and choice we make matters.
While it may seem insignificant, bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store, or buying bamboo products, or using beeswax wraps instead of plastic ziplock bags does make such a difference. It just takes everyone making small steps to see change.
So what is one switch you could make this week to minimize plastic waste in your day to day life?
For more information on these topics you can check out these two articles:
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