Let’s face it. Plastic ain’t so fantastic. This staple in our lives is slowly choking the world we live in. The lone cup or plastic bag that was thrown out a car window will eventually make its way down a storm drain, into a creek or river, and eventually, spill out to our oceans and lakes.
The environmental impact is staggering. Our Ocean animals are ingesting and dying every day from plastic. According to a recent CNN article, nearly every piece of plastic ever made still exists today with nearly five trillion pieces of plastic in the oceans alone. Ocean animals and birds are the most visible victim of this pollution stream. Over 50% of turtles alone are ingesting plastic on a daily basis and on Midway Atoll; birds are dying daily with stomachs full of plastic.
Plastics are not a sustainable option if we want our quality of life on this planet to continue. We also have to keep in mind that current landfill technology doesn’t allow for biodegradable items to breakdown. However, if that plastic item ends up in a local stream, it is still better if it can break down safely than not. Let’s look at some other GREAT options:
- Recycle! Recycling has become a much easier option through local waste management companies. It now an acceptable practice to recycle your grocery store plastic bags. If your waste disposal company won’t take them, most of the grocery stores will!
- Reuse! Refuse plastic straws and lids whenever possible. Come on, it’s a cup. You outgrew your Sippy Cup at four. You can handle a cup without a lid and straw. If you must have a lid and straw, then use a reusable cup and purchase your own reusable straws. (Your mother won’t clean them when you are done, you will have to do that yourself!) Or if reusable or metal straws aren’t your thing, there are always paper options. (Besides, they are kind of fun to peel it into a spiral when you are done.)
- New Generation Plastic! Love your food wrap? Well, we can have our plastic wrap and eat it too. Currently, there are a number of options for individuals and companies to replace their plastic usage with products made from simple cornstarch and even milk proteins. Don’t believe me? Check it out just a few of these options:
In the end, it all comes down to one simple action. Thinking. Can your item be recycled or reused? If millions of people had that one single thought we could literally turn the tide on the plastic tidal wave.