A Brief Look At How Plastic Is Destroying Our Planet

A Brief Look At How Plastic Is Destroying Our Planet

I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible, as I am overly passionate about this topic and the horrific damage that is being caused to our environment through the over consumption of plastics. Like the fact that every piece of plastic created still exists today, and will outlive anyone reading this today, given the hundreds of years that it takes for plastic to break down.

Here are some more reasons and facts for why we should aim to reduce our plastic consumption;

Environmental Impacts

  • In the not too distant future plastic is set to outnumber fish in the world’s oceans.
  • Plastic is entering the food chain; one example is through the micro plastics that are in the ocean being consumed by fish.
    • Did you know that scientists were examining life forms within the Mariana Trench (Which is the world’s deepest point at over 11km below the ocean’s surface) and it was shown that 100% of all living creatures that were tested, had traces of micro plastics within their system?
  • Did you know that purchasing sustainable products, results in less greenhouse gas emissions (which is the cause of global warming!). Think about the emissions caused from every (cheap) t-shirt you have purchase. You would need to purchase a new one every 12 months as they are not designed to last. This would create emissions every time a new one is manufactured, every time it is transported and every time it is disposed of. If you had to buy 4 poor quality t-shirts, for every 1 high quality t-shirt, it has the potential to increase emissions by 200% – 300%. WOW!

Threats to Wildlife

  • Animals are dying through plastic pollution. Sea turtles have consumed plastic, which they had mistaken for food such as jelly fish! If the plastic has air trapped inside (which a lot of it does), then the animal may be too buoyant to dive and go about its normal life, therefore they cannot dive for food. This causes them to starve to death on the surface of the ocean. This particular example brings tears to my eyes. If nothing else at least dispose of plastic properly.
  • Animal extinctions – haven’t humans wiped out enough species? Humans certainly aren’t making co-existing for animals easy. We don’t need animals choking on plastic and clogging up habitats! We tear down jungles, pollute our oceans and destroy their habitat.

Contributions to Health & Other

  • Research has shown that plastic contains harmful chemicals, including endocrine disruptors.
  • These harmful chemicals can leach into our drinks and food if not handled correctly.
    • Have you ever left a plastic water bottle in a hot car?
    • Have you seen the bubbles forming on the inside of the bottle?
    • These have been known to contain harmful chemicals from the plastic.
  • Did you know that the ‘Best Before’ dates on drink bottles generally refer to the plastic and not the drink?
  • Plastics are a significant contributor to keeping the oil industry alive! Did you know that plastic is made up of an oil bi-product? Let’s ditch plastic to help end our reliance on oil.
  • Don’t fall for companies that tout the use degradable plastic bags as these just break down into smaller and smaller pieces, which end up being ingested by animals.
  • Waste of money – plastic lends itself to things that are cheap and disposable and that you need to buy again and again. This leads to more plastic waste contributing to the above problems and more $ for you over the long run. A smart purchase now will save you money over the years!

What can we do to help this situation?

  • We control what we purchase. These are active choices that we make. I encourage us to consider each purchase and explore alternatives.
    • Instead of plastic straws, use stainless steel or bamboo.
    • Use a ‘keep cup’ for your coffee and
    • Choose to buy your fruit and vegetables with no unnecessary packaging.
  • Recycle! Again this is a choice! Did you know that these plastics can be reused in some interesting ways, like to make roads, furniture and toys?
  • Purchase items that last! Businesses like ours and others provide great options for sustainable purchases. These may be a few extra $ now, vs the other alternatives! But these are designed to last, meaning less items end up in waste and a greater $ save for you over time.

Make the right choices now, to ensure we leave this world in a better place for our children and grandchildren.

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