Plastic is everywhere. It consumes our lives and many people never notice. We use it in restaurants, supermarkets, and our homes. It is useful in some situations but once its use runs out, the effects of the material are rather undesirable.
Consider for a moment, how much plastic you burn through in a day. What about a week? From packaging to wrapping, we use plastic every day. But where does it go? The answer is, our oceans, and it does not plan to leave any time soon. Plastic is not like paper or organic material that degrades quickly. According to Renee Cho with State of The Planet, plastic bottles will take up to 450 years to decompose in the ocean. No matter how strong our relationship is with plastic, there is still time to reverse its hold on us.
Here are a few ways you can cut plastic from your life:
1. Paper? Plastic? What about Canvas?
Plastic shopping bags are a major issue in our oceans. They resemble jellyfish and to an unknowing marine mammal that means food. Switch to canvas bags to do all your shopping with. They are inexpensive, and the best part is they are reusable. The transition from plastics to canvas is difficult at first because no one is used to bring their own bags to the store. If you keep them in the car, or set a reminder to bring them, you will eventually forget that plastic bags exist.
2. Ditch the plastic straws.
Straws are another plastic in our oceans that end up mistaken for food by sea life. Plastic straws are a luxury, they are not a necessity. Though various restaurants and fast food places use them, and we are conditioned to think we need them. We don’t! However, if in fact, you are finding it difficult to live without a straw, there are plenty of companies that make reusable ones.
3. Ditch plastic bottles too.
As stated earlier plastic bottles take a long time to decompose. Cutting them from your life is beneficial to ocean life as well as your own. Why burn through a case of water bottles when you can buy a reusable one? Metal reusable bottles are durable and last a long time. They can be reused endlessly and are portable too. Overall, a reusable bottle is cheaper than buying bottles that are single use.
The key to plastic reduction is switching from single-use materials to products that can be reused. This will prevent plastic materials from entering our oceans. We must break our relationship with plastic, the planet will benefit from our efforts. It can be difficult to eliminate plastic from our lives but after practicing you will forget all about plastic bottles or bags. Reducing plastics is something everyone can do! Young, or old, everyone can reduce and recycle. This is a perfect idea for the individual looking for easy ways to help our oceans. Now is the time that we must realize plastic is problematic and trade it in for something more ocean-friendly!
By: Heather Weller, Plea for the Sea (pleaforthesea.com)
Cho, Renee. “Our Oceans: A Plastic Soup.” State Of The Planet. 26 Jan. 2011. Web. 27 May 2018.