If you stopped a group of ten people on the street, it’s likely that most, if not all, of them would have plastic on their person in some form. They might be carrying a bag made of plastic. Or they might have an article of clothing that has plastic in it. Or maybe they brought food with them that’s stored in a plastic container.
That’s the way of the world—a lot of it is made of plastic. And a lot of that plastic comes with potential harmful effects. That’s because materials can leach out of different types of plastic, and those materials can negatively impact your brain and other body processes, including reproduction. While the amount of chemicals leaching from plastics may be small in some cases, it has not been proven safe.
Taking steps to reduce your use of and exposure to plastic isn’t as hard as you might think. Good places to start are your kitchen at home and the break room or kitchen at your office. Swap out plastic storage containers for ones made of glass or metal to start with. Replace your plastic Tupperware for glass food storage containers. It is vitally important to learn how to choose non-plastic swaps for common plastic items such as food storage containers, ice packs, plastic wrap, and produce bags.
Taking steps to reduce your use of and exposure to plastic isn’t as hard as you might think. Click To Tweet
Plastic and The Planet
According to Plastic Free July, the plastic bottles, bags and takeaway containers that we use just for a few minutes use a material that is designed to last forever.
Unfortunately, these plastics:
- break up, but not break down – becoming permanent pollution
- are mostly downcycled (made into low grade product for just one more use) or sent to landfill
- escape’ from bins, trucks, events etc. to become ‘accidental litter’
- end up in waterways and the ocean – where scientists predict there will be more tonnes of plastic than tonnes of fish by 2050
- transfer to the food chain – carrying pollutants with them
- increase our eco-footprint – plastic manufacturing consumes 6% of the world’s fossil fuels
“Every bit of plastic ever made
still exists and in the first 10 years of
this century the world economy produced
more plastic than the entire 1900’s.”
Refuse. Reuse. Recycle.
Studies show that at least 60% of people are already refusing plastic shopping bags, avoiding pre-packed fruit and vegetables, picking up other people’s litter and choosing not to buy bottled water.
Choose to be part of the solution by:
- Avoiding products in plastic packaging (choose alternatives)
- Reducing where possible (opt for refills, remember your reusable shopping bags)
- Refusing plastics that escape as litter (e.g. straws, takeaway cups, utensils, balloons)
- Recycling what cannot be avoided
Go #Plastic-Free! Avoid landfill waste. Reduce your eco-footprint. Protect the oceans.Click To Tweet
Want more ideas? The graphic below can help.
The folks at Ghergich teamed up with Quill to create a helpful infographic on plastic which covers safer, healthier alternatives to plastic at the grocery store, in the kitchen, and at work.