Plastic free July and beyond July 14 2014, 0 Comments

So we are nearly half way through plastic free July. I am finding it a lot harder than I thought. I am mostly remembering reusable shopping bags, but the takeaway coffee cups, straws, plastic wrappers on everything are killing it. I thought I would remind myself why plastic is so bad to help my resolve!

So what is the problem with plastic??  Here are a few of the key concerns, in very brief-

  • There is so much of it. They are cheap versatile and used for everything, then often thrown out less than a year later.
  • Plastic doesn't break down for a very long time. Hundreds of thousands of tons ends up in our waterways and oceans. 
  • Millions of sea birds and marine creatures die as a direct result of either ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it.
  • Plastic doesnt biodegrade. When it finally breaks down it is into tiny particles. Harmful chemicals then leach into the ground and waterways.
  • Toxic chemicals used in plastic are having a harmful effect on our health. Common chemicals found in plastics have been linked to birth defects, child development disorders and cancers.
  • Plastic is not sustainable. They are made from non-renewable natural resources such as crude oil, gas and coal. 

So what can we do about it??

Remember Plastic Free July, I will more now. Use our consumer power to force change. Yeah!

Use reusable bags, avoid products with lots of packaging, remember your keep cup for that coffee or better still sit in and read a mag with a coffee in a real cup. Ignorance is bliss but not an option we can take in the long term. Read Slow Death by Rubber Ducky: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie.

Though be warned you will not be able to go into a $2 shop again! Which is probably a good thing anyway!

 

References:

http://www.letsdoitworld.org/news/symptoms-our-plastic-age-what-s-really-so-bad-about-plastics

http://stephanemanos.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/travelling-green-why-is-plastic-so-bad/

Slow Death by Rubber Ducky: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things. By Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie.

 

SOUP:500+ created by Mandy Barker, UK represents over 500 pieces of plastic found in the stomach of a dead albatross chick