It’s Earth Day today, and this year’s theme is plastic pollution. Our oceans are dying, animals suffocating with tons of plastics, even the water we drink contains plastic and it’s getting worse.
We must take action and try to cut back on using plastics. In the 1950s there were 5 million tons of annual consumption of plastic and now there are almost 100 million tons, said WRAP. And it doesn’t even easily decompose: it takes up to 500 years for plastic to decompose.
This year, Theresa May promised that by 2042, UK will create no ‘avoidable’ plastic waste. Supermarket Iceland also announced that their brand range will stop using plastic by 2023. Other stores are slowly following the example.
Fast foods will try using paper straws instead of plastic straws. On some websites, orders for food will have a box you can tick if you opt out of plastic cutlery or straws.
It’s difficult to just live without plastic, but we could at list try to cut back and start with small steps. This is what we can do.
Plastic for Food
Give up on plastic cutlery and carry your own with you. If not, get a paper or wooden alternative. Replace plastic bags with a canvas bag, and go to local farmer’s markets to get unpackaged goods like fruits and veggies.
As for bottles, get the glass ones. They’re easy to recycle, as long as you drop them in a recycling bin especially created for glass. Carry with you a refillable bottle for water and hot drinks.
Try not to buy clothes made from polyester, nylon, lycra, spandex, and acrylic. Go for natural materials, like hemp or organic cotton.
Toiletries and Beauty Items
Get a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one. Buy natural, reusable and washable cloths made from flannel or cotton to use as cleaning wipes, makeup wipes and so on.
Even if it doesn’t seem like much, if everyone on the planet would reduce the amount of plastic used in everyday life, the results would be shockingly positive. After all, plastic pollutes the Earth because WE use it.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.