Plastic might be convenient, but is it worth it?

plastic microbeadsPlastic is everywhere in our lives these days. Water bottles, microbead skin products, disposable razors, shopping bags, and red solo cups.  It’s amazing how much of this ends up in the water systems, my dear Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean.

When debris like these end up in the system, they all get pulled around by the currents–typically ending up in the same place, if not in an animal’s throat or around their neck first. This place is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This “patch” is more than twice the size of Texas. It’s not surprising considering a study released in 2015 estimates that 8.8 million tons of plastic waste ended up in the ocean in the year 2010. I keep having this nightmare that the garbage patch is going to grow until the whole Earth is one large garbage patch!

plastic-bottle-in-water

Before we get to that point, too many animals will die from plastic. In 2013 in Spain, scientists found a dead whale, whose cause of death was intestinal blockage. The digestive system contained 59 pieces of plastic waste totaling 37 pounds in weight. Sea turtles are now ingesting twice the plastic they were 25 years ago. In total, it is estimated that plastic ingestion kills 1 MILLION marine birds and 1 HUNDRED THOUSAND marine animals every single year!

Plastic-Pollution-Seabirds

Other than ingestion, plastic can also ruin an animal’s life by tangling them up; this can make movement and growth difficult or impossible. Some species happen to inhabit areas where plastic pollution is more of a problem, causing them to be more susceptible to entanglements and ingestion caused by plastic. This fact proves true for species like the Hawaiian monk seal, which swim and feed in areas close to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

turtle-caught-in-plastic-ring

Not only can plastic hurt them in its full state, but also in later states. Although plastic does not biodegrade, it does break down and the chemicals that break down impact animals as well. The toxic chemicals really mess with the hormones of marine animals. In the long term, this can affect humans as well because many people are consuming the animals affecting by these pollutants.

 

So what can you do?

Of course, recycling can be a big help and not littering, but the only way to completely prevent these problems is by decreasing your plastic consumption. The best thing you can do is to completely eliminate plastic from your life! Convenience is not worth possibly living on a garbage planet.

Another great way to help is to pick up trash before it makes its way to the ocean like this inspirational guy!

5 comments

  1. I see your point. But it has a lot to do with the community you live in.
    For example, when I ask the shopkeeper to not give me the plastic bag, he stares at me (because he doesn’t understand why I say it). But the question- does my not taking that one plastic bag actually helps? Wouldn’t it be better if large actions were taken ( like by governments or main organisations) to limit the use of plastics?
    I went to Mango the other day and even they gave me a paper bag. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am the only person who brings reusable bags to the store in my town so I definitely understand the stares. I agree that it can be easy to say your actions don’t do much but I also don’t think that’s a reason to continue using plastic. And you’d be surprised how much your actions will affect people around you. Soon more people in my town will be using reusable bags and it’ll be easier because I got the worst of the judgement and in the long run we will all make a noticeable difference in my option.

      Like

      1. I like how you think.
        Oh I didn’t mean I was going to use plastic. I do what I think is right, regardless of what society thinks of me as long as that doesn’t including hurting someone or their feelings. And last time i checked, no one felt offended if someone wanted to use a plastic bag.

        But yeah I do like how you think.

        Hoping to read more of your posts!

        Liked by 1 person

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