We got Trouble! Right here in River City! With a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for PLASTIC!!!
Did anyone guess when plastic first came into general use what an environmental disaster it would become? Who would have anticipated it? Plastic was truly a boon to our civilization, helping with all aspects of our lives and the economy. Space travel, advances in medicine - you name it, plastic was a part of it. It has become a necessary part of our lives.
But today, we really do “got trouble” when it comes to plastic pollution. Yessir, we sure do. The National Geographic Society webpage has some sobering statistics about plastic pollution. 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes every year into the ocean from coastal nations. That’s a lot of plastic. Fish, birds and aquatic animals of all kinds are eating plastic or getting trapped in plastic and dying as a result. In some places, beaches that were pristine now look like garbage dumps. And it can take up to 400 YEARS for plastic to decompose. And the little decomposing pieces get into the food chain, and then into us – something that I would prefer not to happen!
It is estimated that over 40% of plastic is used one time only, then tossed. Packaging materials account for about half of all plastic waste generated annually; most of that never gets recycled.
BUT, there are some things each and every one of us can do to turn the tide and play our part in cleaning up plastic pollution. These steps call for awareness, and a willingness to change buying habits. BUT IT IS DOABLE, and really not that hard. Let’s talk about the plastic we buy first. I’ll talk about plastic recycling in another blog.
THE TAKE HOME MESSAGE IS THIS – TRY TO CUT BACK ON THE PLASTIC YOU PURCHASE ON A REGULAR BASIS, ESPECIALLY PLASTIC PACKAGING AND SINGLE USE PLASTIC.
Take one task or room at a time. See where you are using plastic and try to find an alternative. It’s really not that hard. Let me tell you briefly just a few things we were doing before the viral pandemic forced us to make some changes. At this point, we are all just doing the best we can. But when we no longer have to socially isolate or sterilize our groceries before putting them away, let’s do better with the amount of plastic we purchase!
It’s not perfect; even with all of this, there is still plastic in our lives. It’s probably not realistic to be plastic free, but it IS possible to be “Plastic Lite” if we pay attention to what we buy and how it is packaged. Si, se puede! We can all do this!!