How can we live without plastic
When you think of pollution, most of us envision toxic clouds of smoke being emitted from industrial plants, or the combustion of fossil fuels. Something not commonly associated with environmental pollution is plastic. Plastic is the worlds most commonly used synthetic polymer.
Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. Each present year enough plastic is thrown away that it could circle the earth four times. Most of the plastic we encounter ends up in the sea, meaning that 40 percent of the world's ocean surfaces are covered in floating plastic. The ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one. This helps contribute to the one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals that are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
Everywhere you go you encounter plastic and nearly everything you buy contains plastic is some sort of way. If you look in your fridge I am certain the majority of you will have at least 80% or your food wrapped in plastic, whether it is your cellophane covered cucumbers or bottled milk, or even last nights leftovers, enclosed in a plastic container.
While it would be extremely difficult to eliminate plastic from your life entirely, as it is an extremely common material used in all aspects of life from the price tags on the clothes you buy, in your mobile phone and even in medical/ surgical equipment or used to package medicine, there are many ways you could limit the amount of plastic you use as an individual. Small, positive changes in your lifestyle could make a huge difference to the environment.
Next time you go to the supermarket consider taking your own reusable shopping bag! Replace the usual plastic bags provided by supermarkets to bag your vegetables and baked goods with reusable cloth bags you can easily bring yourself. Another great option to reduce your plastic waste is by buying foods from a farmers market where produce is often sold in bulk and unpackaged. Instead of buying water in bottles, get your hands on a reusable flask to fill up.
Melissa Radoja, Year 13
"22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It)". EcoWatch. N.p., 2017. Web. 13 Mar. 2017.