5 Ways You Can Crush Plastic in Your Daily Life0
Plastic can be found in virtually every shape and form. It is a material that makes our lives incredibly convenient, but most people rarely think about the impact plastic has on the world around us.
Unlike other materials, plastic never really goes away. We love plastic because it is durable, waterproof, and versatile, but the downside of these qualities is that it lasts forever.
Plastic does not biodegrade and it takes hundreds of years for it to break down through a process of photodegradation. Basically, plastic can only disintegrate if it is exposed to UV rays which break its structural bonds apart – and even when this happens, it never truly goes away, it just becomes tons of microscopic pieces of plastic.
Marine Animal Extinction is the Real Cost of Convenience
- Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic waste every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled.
- Around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year!
- 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion.
- 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs.
- By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste.
What Can YOU do?
While efforts are being made to remove debris from the oceans, improve recycling systems and innovate barriers to prevent plastic from getting into waterways, we can all take action in our daily lives to stop plastic waste at the source.
“Plastic is ubiquitous in modern society and seemingly unavoidable. But is it worth risking the lives of marine species, the health of the oceans and our own future in the name of convenience? By taking baby steps to minimize hidden plastics in our lives, we can crush plastic at its source and help the world take a giant collective leap into a better future,” said Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder of One Green Planet.
If we all take steps to identify where we use plastic and actively look for alternatives, we can drastically cut down on the amount of plastic pollution that finds its way into the ocean. The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic a year. If everyone in the U.S. alone were to stop using plastic that would keep over 555 billion pounds of plastic out of the oceans!
As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, One Green Planet believes that reducing hidden plastics from our lives is not about giving up anything or sacrificing convenience, but rather learning to reap the maximum benefit from the items you use every day while having the minimum impact.
5 Ways You Can #CrushPlastic in Your Daily Life
Help Keep 100 Billion Plastic Bags Out of the Ocean With These 3 Unforgettable, Portable Totes
Did you know that we use 100 billion plastic bags every single year? It’s hard to imagine what that amount of plastic trash even looks like, but we can tell you what happens to it. First, most of our plastic trash ends up in landfills. From there, it makes its way to our oceans where it becomes a life or death problem for the ocean’s inhabitants. It’s easy for animals who eat jellyfish to mistake floating plastic bags for their prey of choice and animals like sea lions, seals, and otters run the risk of becoming tangled. On top of that, 800 marine species are at risk of extinction because of plastic. It’s a tough fact to face, but luckily, it’s easily resolved by swapping plastic bags for reusable shopping bags.
You Can Help Keep 500 Disposable Cups Out of the Oceans Every Year With One Easy Change
ALARM . . . BLARING . . . SO LOUD . . . hit snooze – again. Must get dressed. Pull on socks, now the pants, and the shirt. Now take off the socks and find a pair that matches. No. forget it, there’s no time. Out the door without your jacket. COFFEE, must get coffee. Inside the coffee shop . . . so close, “Black, with an extra shot of espresso, to go please. I’m running late.” That fist sip is all it takes; the warmth courses through your fingers and down your throat into your belly and you can feel your brain start to speed back up again. Now that you’re armed with caffeine, you can take on the world!
We’ve all witnessed the miracle of coffee (or tea) every morning but what don’t see is the cost of our disposable coffee cups. After the lifesaving liquid has entered our system, we throw away our coffee cups along with their plastic lids and straws. While these pieces of plastic trash may be out of sight, they should never leave our mind.
Plastics stay around long after our morning pick me up has left our system – it takes hundreds of years to break down one piece of plastic waste and we produce over 300 million tons of plastic waste each year. Worse still, only 15 percent of disposable plastics are properly disposed of – the rest make their way into our oceans and waterways. When you add your disposable morning coffee cup to everyone else’s it adds up fast; each year we throw away on million disposable cups. These get added to the 8.8 million tons of plastic waste that make its way into our oceans every year. Once in the water, this plastic waste has dire consequences for marine wildlife. Over 800 marine species are currently endangered because of plastic pollution and our appetite for plastic is still increasing. We have produced more plastic in the past 1o years than we did over the entirety of the last century.
Don’t freak out, we are not asking anybody to forgo their morning caffeine fix. You can still have your coffee and feel good about drinking it on the go – just bring a travel mug with you when you leave the house.
You Can Help Keep 116 Plastic Water Bottles Out of the Oceans Every Year With One Small Swap
Imagine, it’s the middle of a crazy busy day. You run from one appointment to the next, and considering the fact you can never really predict what the weather is like anymore (Seriously, 60 degree days in NYC in the middle of January? Give us a break.), chances are you will reach a point of dehydration and or exhaustion. What better way to beat the heat and get back into action than grabbing a water bottle? You can find them in every single corner store, so it’s certainly a quick fix.
Well, what if we told you that afternoon “refresher” is costing marine animals their lives. Yes, we’re talking about precious baby seals, turtles, and whales. In total, Americans use around 50 billion plastic water bottles a year. Sadly, only a small portion of those get recycled, the majority end up in landfills. Considering about 80 percent of marine debris comes from land-based sources and 90 percent of that is plastic, there’s a pretty strong correlation between your tossed water bottle and the 8.8 million tons of plastic trash that end up in the ocean every year – yeah, yikes.
Sadly, marine animals are paying the price for our convenience. Plastic currently threatens over 800 marine species with extinction, by way of entanglement, ingestion, or pollution. So now that you know, you’re probably thinking it’s time for a change – and turns out making one positive change to benefit marine animals is super simple.
You Can Help Keep 540 Plastic Sandwich Bags Out of the Ocean With One Swap
If you’re looking to save some cash, there’s no easier way to start than with bringing your own lunch to work every day. If you eat out for lunch every day, you might not think that it’s just $5 here, $10 there … but it adds up. On average, Americans spend nearly $3,000 on lunch each year — that’s more than enough for that new phone, the most elaborate tattoo ever, or even a used car.
Bringing your lunch is a huge win for you, but have you ever stopped to consider if your lunch packaging is a win for the planet? Like in the case of those little plastic bags you use to carry your PB&J sandwich. Those are a problem. Every year, the average person uses nearly one pounds worth of plastic sandwich bags. We know, we know … that doesn’t sound like it’s that big of a deal. But if we were to break that down into quantities, that would be a total of 540 plastic baggies a year that we use only once.
You may not realize it, but those single-use plastic bags stick around for a lot longer than any of us ever will. Forget about diamonds — plastic is forever and we are not doing nearly enough to combat this serious problem. Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic each year, but only a small percent is ever reclaimed or recycled. That isn’t even the scariest part. It’s estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans!
Sure, you can always reuse those plastic baggies until they’re beyond practical use — kudos to you if you do that, but there is a way that we can all do better.
You Can Help Keep 584 Pieces of Plastic Out of the Oceans Every Year Just by Making This Simple Switch
In case you didn’t know, plastic straws are for suckers. Every day we produce 500 million straws and guess where all of this plastic ends up? If you guessed the garbage you would only be partially correct. Only 15 percent of the plastics we produce are properly recycled so that means that 425 million straws make their way into landfills every day. From the landfill, most of these plastics eventually end up in our oceans and waterways. Once in our oceans, straws (along with other plastic waste) have disastrous effects on marine life and ecosystems. According to a recent UN study, over 800 marine species are endangered because of plastic waste.
It takes thousands of years for one straw that was used straws for 10 minutes to break down. But, as we saw in the heartwrenching video where rescuers extracted a straw from the nostril of a sea turtle, we need to be worried about what happens to straws after they leave our lips and our lids. So what the heck are we still doing using these plastic straws?!? The good news is there is an easy little fix to this giant problem: reusable straws. Just be sure to slip one in your pocket every morning before you leave your house and you can save sea turtles a world of pain and save the world’s oceans at the same time.
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