Quite literally, we are drowning in plastic. It makes up the majority of items we touch in our day-to-day life. Plastic is in our food, our ocean, our streets, and about anywhere else you can think of. According to the website, Future Agenda, it is said that 275 million tons of plastic waste is created each year, and between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tons of that plastic waste is intentionally dumped into our oceans. This plastic problem is not going away anytime soon. Saying this, I reflect on what I can do to slow the intoxication of our only livable planet down. This brings me to our class assignment, making note of all the items of plastics touched, and reflecting on what isn’t necessary, or can be replaced in my life.
Out of my 45 items counted (although some items touched were definitely missed), some items I found to be wasteful and replaceable were:
Yes, only listing gum is on purpose. After looking through my list, thinking about which items are not practical to my lifestyle, I could not find much. Things like a tampon are pretty necessary to women. Other items such as my leg wrap and medical tape for my torn ACL are also quite practical, and not very replaceable. Items such as my face wash bottle and chapstick tube are replaceable in exchange for the products in glass bottles, but far to expensive for my means.
The area I think I can make a difference is informing people about the effects of things so small like drinking out of a plastic and disposable water bottle everyday, rather than a reusable one. Things like buying reusable food containers instead of using one-use plastic baggies. Being more aware of the plastic you are quite literally consuming is a great place to start in this battle against plastic. A big thing I’ve also seen is spreading around the knowledge of how to recycle items that are recyclable. As Beth Terry says, “guilt is not encouraged”. I do not believe the way to go about solving this plastic problem is to shame people for their behaviors. Instead, encourage people to live cleaner for the health of themselves, and for the health of our planet.