Plastic, plastic, plastic. We live in a plastic world; countless everyday items are made from plastic, everything from grocery bags to toothbrushes to bottles. Plastic has its place, especially in healthcare, but you’ve probably seen an article or two floating around on plastic consumption and the impact it’s having.
So, is it really that big of a deal?
Yes! Plastic pollution is a problem—not just for the environment but also for your health. It can take hundreds of years for plastic items to biodegrade and items like plastic bags and bottle caps
often find their way into oceans, rivers, and streams where they harm wildlife, spoil the landscape, and clog infrastructure. If that isn’t concerning on its own, plastics break down into microplastics. These tiny particles are contaminating water sources and making their way up the food chain onto our dinner plates. Even beer has fallen victim to contamination.
It might come as a surprise, but it’s been estimated that 80% of marine debris originates as land-based trash. Plastics are littered, fly off during transport, and manage to escape from landfills. It
may seem like a daunting problem to take on, but fortunately there are easy actions you can take that to reduce your daily dose of plastic, and you’ll be shocked at the impact it can have. Here are a few easy ways for you to get started:
- Ordering take-out? Let the restaurant know ahead of time you won’t be needing plastic cutlery.
- Bring your reusable shopping bags along for all shopping trips.
- Stop sucking! Don’t be afraid to say no to straws in the drive thru or elsewhere.
- Try using bamboo toothbrushes.
- …And while you’re at it consider using a metal, reusable shaving razor.
- Shop for cotton or other natural fiber clothing. Synthetic fibers like polyester are just one source of microplastics.
- When purchasing paper towels, toilet paper or other household items, opt for products that are packaged in paper or other natural materials.
- Go topless! Not you, the drinks! Decline lids and straws on fountain drinks, coffees and other to-go items wherever possible.
- Get a reusable beverage container, and stop buying single-use servings.
- Check out our Pinterest page for more ideas.
Making these easy choices to ditch the plastic can reduce pollution, improve your health, and save you money.