Plastic is so cheap, strong and light weighted, and we have produced a lot of plastic in the past 100 years, that we have almost triggered the extinction of every life form by filling the land and sea with the plastic garbage.
12 tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea each year and plastic waste will lay around for ages, an average plastic bag can take 10 to 1000 years to decompose, and plastic bottles will take 450 years or more.
Most of us are oblivious when it comes to the effects of plastic on the environment, think about the plastic garbage patch we have created, whenever you buy a water bottle or use a plastic bag.
About 90% of plastic items were thrown away after using it once, plastic items like grocery bags, plastic wraps, straws, coffee-cup lids end up in the land and ocean fills. The best thing we can do is eliminate plastic and restore our environment to sustain all life forms. Here we list some of the ways you can reduce the plastic usage.
1. Almost 1 million plastic bags are used every minute all over the world, use reusable cloth or paper bags when you go to supermarket, so you can eliminate the use of plastic bags.
2. Say no to plastic straws, instead use a stainless steel or glass drinking straw, and make sure you tell the waiter/waitress not to bring a plastic straw.
3. Around 20 billion plastic bottles are thrown away every year, stop buying water in plastic bottles. Carry your own reusable bottle. Look for quality water source instead of buying water. Buy beverages in glass bottles instead of plastic, also be aware of the hazards of drinking water from plastic bottles.
4. Buy detergents and dish soap packed in cardboard boxes instead of plastic containers, cardboard decomposes fast and can be recycled easily.
5. Use your own or ask for a ceramic reusable cup, instead of buying coffee or hot drinks in a plastic cup with lid. Those plastic cups and lids will take more than 100 years to decompose.
6. Reuse the plastic containers that has been left over from peanut butter, yogurt and sauces. Wash them and use them to store food items. It’s better to buy sauces, butter and similar items in glass jars instead of plastic.
7. Use matches to build a campfire instead of using disposable plastic lighters, which stay for many years in landfills and even found in the stomach of dead birds.
8. Do not use plasticware like knives, forks and chopsticks, you can replace them with silverware. Do you know that every year 6 million tons of plastic spoons, forks and knives are discarded?
9. Don’t buy foods packaged in plastic, anyway processed foods are not healthy, you can totally avoid them, find a store where you can get your food items fresh and wrapped in paper.
10. Avoid beauty products with micro-beads, be aware of the harmful micro-beads in in your face wash, they are extremely harmful for the environment and gets washed into the ocean harming wildlife. Prefer natural and biodegradable exfoliants such as oats and sea salts.
11. Say no to disposable razors, they cause more damage to the environment than your skin, it has been estimated that almost 2 billion disposable razors end up in landfill sites every year in U.S alone.
12. Buy bread, eggs, cheese, chips and cereals packaged in paper or cardboard boxes, Buy milk in paper cartons, ask for paper bags in grocery store and say no to plastic. Eat and cook with fresh foods rather than canned foods, Use aluminum foil to wrap food rather than plastic cling wrap.
Plastics are everywhere, replace them with every possible biodegradable alternates, plastic is a danger hidden in plain sight, they contain the chemical Bisphenol A, which leaches into food and water stored in the plastic container and disrupts the endocrine system, resulting in reproductive and developmental issues.
Say no to plastic by following the 5 R’s – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rebuy.