We are swimming in plastic. Literally. According to IUCN.org, “at least 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year and make up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to the deep-sea sediments. Marine species ingest or are entangled by plastic debris which causes severe injuries and deaths.”
This may come as a surprise to you, but according to National Geographic, more than 91% of plastic just sits in landfills. If you read my turtle article earlier this month, you may remember that the plastics that are just sitting in the landfill are really breaking down slowly into microplastics that can be found in marine life and in our drinking water.
Such a monstrous amount of plastic has been created, that our poor planet is now drowning in it. It is predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans if we don’t take action. You and I may not see the exact amount of damage directly due to local clean-up efforts and recycling initiatives. Underserved and impoverished areas of the world don’t have the same benefits and are suffering the consequences.
Fortunately, there are a lot of businesses, non-profits, and other organizations that are realizing how severe this situation is and are taking steps to protect the environment. For those steps to really make an impact, everyone needs to get involved and do their part.
Here are some things you can do:
- Say no to plastic food storage! It’s not good for the environment or for your body. Systematically replace your plastic storage with glass.
- Pass on the plastic, single-use straws. Choose stainless steel or bamboo instead.
- Chuck the plastic water bottles. Hydro flask is my favorite!
- Take your own bags to the grocery store. I’ve noticed that I purchase far fewer unnecessary items when I have to pack them in the bags I have with me. #Winning