Is Plastic Waste Really That Bad?
Have you ever thought of how much plastic we really consume on a daily basis? Think about how many items you purchase that use plastic.
Every industry from the grocery store to the hardware shop packages at least a few items using plastic. It can’t really be that bad though, right? I mean wouldn’t we have halted the process by now if it was really a problem? Right?!?
Well, actually, it’s pretty bad. It is estimated that 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year.
That amount of plastic can cause damage greater than we can imagine. We are producing around 300 million tons of plastic a year and the worst part is that most of this is for single use purposes.
That means we are producing alarming amounts of this harmful waste that will only be utilized for a few minutes at most.
Why have we not considered this a real issue then?
A big part of the problem is that this mass production of plastic is still a relatively new thing.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that the production began skyrocketing and with many things, you don’t know the true effect of something until it is happening.
The multi-function utility of plastic made it the perfect solution for many types of packaging.
The problem is that we already have an overwhelming amount produced and are continuing to push out more every year.
Plastic takes over 400 years to degrade!
That means that the more we make, the more astronomical the problem gets because there’s no where to dispose of this high amount we now have.
To compound the issue, only around 9 percent of plastic is recycled leaving a majority of it to become waste.
Do we have any alternatives at this point?
Well, as individuals we can only do so much, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make an impact!
A good start and something that I’m sure many of you already do is using a reusable bag when you go shopping.
This helps cut down on plastic bags which inevitably end up in a landfill or the ocean. Try find a local Co-op in your town that has an option for bulk purchase using reusable containers.
Buying locally also reduces the amount of fuel and other waste used in transporting your food! There are also great websites like this one which allow you to buy household items with zero waste packaging!
And of course, everyone’s favorite Infiniddy straws which help keep our planet free of plastic straws, but you already knew that ;)