Decreasing our use and dependence on plastics

 

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Ok, plastic can be useful and its cheap and available, I use it, we all use it and sometimes I think we need it. Trucks, Cars and Planes using lightweight plastic products in certain areas, instead of metal etc. use much less fuel. Withought low cost plastics we would not have many of the affordable modern products and appliances that we have today. But maybe the facts below demand that we all use a bit less.

Plastic is not the enemy, but our use, overuse, neglect and mis-use of it certainly is.
Discarded Plastic, ends up in forests, Mountains, creeks, nature reserves, roadsides and our very streets.But perhaps worst of all, our oceans, seas and rivers.

According to a top Oceanic Agency study in 2015 (the Oceanic Conservatory) every square mile of ocean has over 45,000 plastic items floating on the water. The most discarded waste seen polluting our waters were the common plastic carrier bags used and discarded by us consumers, as supplied by all the worlds famous stores. Many of us may have seen poignant pictures of sea turtles choked to death, having tried to swallow these bags, mistaking them for one of their top food source, the jellyfish. So when we discard one of these so abundant bags, or do not fully account for its disposal, we unwittingly become potential killers, it's as strong as that. Plastic bags, packaging and containers also accounts for the death of millions of Birds, Whales, Dolphins and sharks each year. These are all killed by the worlds neglect and ignorance. Its not the animals doing this, its us...

Attention Human race - take ownership.

 While some plastic items are recycled, the production and thirst for new plastic produced items is far greater than our recycling efforts. If we don’t recycle, then because most plastic is not truly biodegradable, but photodegradable, it doesn't really break down. A lot of plastic contains toxins, such as phthalates, BPA and flame retardants. And as the plastic does breaks down, it absorbs any surrounding pesticides like DDT, PCB and PAH. This combined cocktail of toxins is then distributed and released in to our entire eco system. This harms micro life, animals and our food source. Even the BPA-free varieties are made from mixture of petrochemicals mixed with a variety of other chemicals, that are considered disruptive to human hormonal health.

There is also the energy cost to produce plastics, in the U.S. alone the fuel bill totals around 330 billion barrels of petroleum.

People often do not realise where plastics are used, even nail polish contains a certain plastic for added texture

There are ways we can use less plastic. Simple things by using less disposable bags when we go shopping, and tell the shops and coffee shops / cafes that we want a reusable bag, or a glass or ceramic cup for our coffee and tea.This alone can hugely reduce our every day use of disposed plastic products.

But. remember this. We cant bury it as we will put all those the toxins in the soil. We cant burn it as we will put all those toxins in the air and add to the greenhouse gas and ozone layer depletion. We can only recycle it, which as mentioned, with our current recycling metods, we cant keep up with demand.

The best, possibly the only solution remaining, is don't produce as much plastic products in the first place, promote more effficient recycling methods and seek non plastic alternative materials and products wherever possible.

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