Single-Use plastics are only used once before they are thrown away. They litter our beaches and injure our marine life. We produce about 300 million tons of plastic each year and more than half of it can be disposable! Did you know that researchers discovered that 32 percent of our plastics end up unaccounted for-aka most likely in our oceans. We all play an unique role in solving the global plastic crisis and need to start taking strategic steps. Here is some information and ways that you can make a difference by eliminating some single-use plastics.
2018 might be the year that we finally kick straws. Americans use around 500 million straws a day in the United States. And for what reason? Straws are simply an item that humans can live without. Millions are handed out daily at restaurants and dropped in drinks without even a thought. It might seem harmless but, A Strawless Ocean states that straws are among the top ten items found during beach clean-ups and can harm turtles, seabirds, and other marine life.
So one major step you can take is eliminating straws from your daily routine. But, if you desperately need a straw to enjoy your refreshments, considering purchasing a reusable straw.
Plastic bags are an extremely common form of litter world-wide. They have been blocking drainage systems, collecting in landfills, and pilling up under your sink for far too long. Plastic Bags are also extremely harmful to marine life, as they can become entangled and also ingest them. Individually, we each use about 83 plastic bags per year. That’s crazy!
One simple way to put a stop to this madness- buy reusable bags. It’s BYOB time- bring your own bag. They make them with all sorts of designs so you can definitely find one to your liking! How about a punny one? Or one with animals in sunglasses on it? Or just a nice set of durable cheap ones? Look how easy it is to play your part.
3. Bottled Water
After plastic bags, water bottles are one of the main forms of pollutants that end up on our shores and beaches. Each year, over 500 billion water bottles end up in our oceans, rivers, and lakes. Plastic Bottles take about three times as much water to produce than what they actually hold. Meaning, before even adding up all the energy it takes to produce bottles- plastic water bottles are already inefficient. What is even worse is that 80% of the plastic water bottles we purchase end up in landfills. They take forever to decompose and leak harmful chemicals into our environment during the process. Do I need to go on?
Reusable Water Bottles. Buy one, refill it, and then refill it again. Stock your home with reusable stainless steel water bottles. Another measure you can take is purchasing a water filter, like a Brita. Keep one in your fridge for clean water anytime without the worry of purchasing plastic water bottles. And if you do end up grabbing a plastic water bottle on the go one day, make sure you recycle it.
Take into account these easy and affordable ways that we can take steps towards a plastic free life! Let’s get rid of these environmental nightmares together.