For a long time now I’ve been meaning to go plastic free. I am passionate about the environment and doing my bit to help protect and preserve this beautiful planet we call home. I see a lot of people going plastic free, and it’s people like this that give me hope for the world! The people who are practising what they preach and being the change. It’s admirable. I’ve recently been spending some time reading up on the negative effects of plastic and the positive effects of going plastic free. I am super impressed with what I’d read.
- Plastics were developed in the early 20th century and were environmentally important, replacing ivory, tortoiseshell, horn and other plant and animal products.
- By the 1960’s plastic had gone from being used in durable items to widespread use including disposable plastic packaging.
- Every piece of plastic ever produced still remains somewhere in the earth today.
- In the last half of the 20th century over 1 billion tonnes of plastic was produced. This figure has already doubled in the first ten years of this century.
- Most of the commonly used disposable plastic items are a convenience and the numbers are staggering. In one week we go through 10 billion plastic bags worldwide, in the USA an average of 2.5 million plastic bottles are used every hour whilst over 500 million straws are used daily!
- Recycling is important but it will never be the solution to rapidly expanding consumption. Although many plastic products can be recycled, actual rates of recycling are often low – particularly away from home at events, food halls and public places.
- Increasingly people are becoming concerned about the impacts on food and beverages being stored and cooked in plastic. Common additives to plastic include BPA (bisphenol A) and phthalates, both chemicals which have can harmful effects on humans.
- In 2013 the UN and the World Health organisation reported that evidence linking hormone-mimicking chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade, becoming a “global threat” that should be addressed.
- Marine debris is a major issue for the integrity of marine ecosystems. Impacts to wildlife include entanglement and ingestion. It is estimated that 80% of the oceans marine debris has come from the land.
- More than 270 of the world’s marine animal species are affected by marine debris, but the full extent of this impact is unknown.
Did you know that by 2050 its estimated there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans? This is extremely sad and worrying. Most plastic comes from land and was once in our hands. This is within our lifetime, and I for one would not like to live in a world where this is a reality.
So from now on I will most definitely be saying no to single-use plastic. My main aim is to focus on the top 4: plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws. I am armed with my reusable coffee cup, my reusable water bottle, about a billion tote bags, and some reusable straws. I am armed and ready to tackle this! I am hoping that I will be able to break the habit of buying single-use plastic so this will be something I can continue with for the rest of my life. Resulting in me being able to refuse, reduce and reuse with much more ease!