Although a lot of us advocate against using plastic bags for shopping and plastic disposable cups for drinking tea or coffee, we don’t think about the other possible areas where we tend to use plastic on a daily basis. A lot of us would actually be surprised to note that plastic has actually become an epidemic of sorts.
From bags, toys and electronics to even toothpastes and facial scrubs, plastic has found a way to end up in these items. This plastic is either shipped off to be recycled or ends up in the oceans and landfills across the world, with the latter being the more common of the two outcomes. Ultimately, the plastic that we tend to use on a daily basis ends up harming the environment, disturbing the ecological balance and harming out health in the process.
Alarming Facts about Plastic
For all of you out there who have little or no idea of how plastic may harm us and the environment, here are some alarming facts that will hopefully help us put our point across.
Despite the worldwide drive to reduce the use of plastic, it has been revealed that over 500 billion plastic bags are still being used across the world, with a staggering 1 million bags being used every single minute. Considering the fact that it would take at least 1000 years for plastic to degrade, we would soon start facing a crisis of sorts as the landfills around the world overflow with plastic.
Plastic grocery bags, soda bottles and straws, etc. are a regular sight in the Pacific Ocean these days. Over 35 billion plastic bottles end up in the oceans every year. And this figure is relegated to the U.S. alone. So just imagine the total contribution of plastic from all the countries in the world.
In spite of several green initiatives doing the rounds, it is alarming to note that the world has produced more plastic in the last 10 years than it had done during the last 100 years.
Nearly 90% of the trash floating in the oceans is made of plastic. This surmounts to a staggering 46000 pieces of plastic found per square mile in these oceans. In fact, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a giant sized mass of floating plastic that can be found in the North Pacific Ocean. The garbage island is considered to be twice the size of the U.S. state Texas.
How to save the environment from plastic
Rising about the Plastic is an initiative all of us would need to take in order to save the environment and keep it healthy as well as livable for future generations. Here are some ways in which this can be achieved with minimum effort.
Consider reusing shopping bags as well as bottled water. If not, you can consider opting for cloth bags or glass bottles that can be easily reused without harming the environment much. Everyday items like plastic lunchboxes and bags can also be replaced with bags made of natural fibers.
Stay away from heavy packaging
Some goods tend to come in extra layers of plastic packaging. Refuse these items as they will only lead to more plastic being dumped in the landfills at the end of the day. Check for eco-friendly packaging that can be reused. You can also opt to buy in bulk in order to reduce the packaging used for the individual pieces.
Opt for Digital Media
Instead of relying on plastic CDs or DVDs, consider opting for digital cloud media to store your favorite songs, movies and photos, etc. This way, you can reduce the market for these plastic CDs which usually end up in landfills after use.
Choose eco-friendly plastic
If you still insist on using plastic, consider opting for eco-friendly plastic like PETE and HDPE variants that come from recycled plastic.
Volunteer and spread the word
In addition to volunteering at cleanup activities near your home, support the ban on plastics by giving your vote to bills relating to the same. Also make it a point to spread the word about plastics to near and dear ones so that they also embark on the initiative to rid the world of plastic in the days to come.
Plastic pollution continues to rise across the world. It is time people started noting the various alarming facts about plastic pollution and start taking measures to stop if not reduce the same.