The Terrifying Reality of Plastic

Sakshi Kaikini

While going through my days, I never actually realize how wasteful I am. I go through my days using plastic utensils and throwing them away later simply because I’m too lazy to to wash reusable utensils. But is my laziness adding to my plastic footprint  and actually making a negatively impacted difference? Yes, yes it is. While I was collecting the disposable items I use throughout one day I was astonished by the amount of plastic I use once and throw away.

A majority of the disposable items are thing I use on the daily. For example:

  • plastic utensils
  • plastic plate and bowl
  • q-tips
  • individual flossers
  • ziploc bags
  • plastic water bottles

Every single one of these items I use on the daily and throw them away when I’m done using them. Some of these items can be reused, but they’re so easy to get and replace, your first instinct is to just throw it away.

I don’t think this one day of seeing all of the plastic materials I use accurately represent my plastic footprint because it’s only one day out fo every single day I’ve lived. Every single day I do something different and use different things and some days I use more plastic materials and some days I use less. This differs from my plastic footprint because my overall plastic footprint is a lot more than what I used in one day and it involves a lot more plastic materials.

As I walk around campus I don’t think there is a certain location dedicated to recycling, which is really unfortunate for our schools. Although throughout various buildings we have small bins saying what to throw where, usually students either don’t know where to throw something or are in a hurry and throw recyclable things into the trash. These eventually end up in landfills and then drift away into our oceans and lakes and whatnot, affecting wild and marine life in a negative way.

The ocean is swimming in plastic and it's getting worse – we need connected  global policies now

College of Charleston needs to implicate more recycling centers so we can efficiently recycle our plastics. In our dorm halls there is no place to recycle anything. There are only big trash bins on every floor and even if you have a trash bag full of recyclable stuff you have to throw it away because there’s no where else to dispose of it. As I sit here I am just incredibly disappointed because this is our world, our Earth, and us humans are ultimately limiting out years on Earth. We’re affecting ourselves, animals, our future and everything in between. Although we’re only  a small college on the coast of South Carolina, there’s about 15,000 people here to be accounted for. If every person only used one piece of plastic a day, that would still be 15,000 pieces of plastic going to the trash EVERY DAY. Myself, I used about 35 pieces of plastic in one given day and for me to not be able to recycle it in my dorm room because I don’t have the ability to is incredibly sad and frustrating.

Recycle Bins: Types, Colors and How it Helps the Environment | Conserve  Energy Future

When looking Beth Terry’s ‘Guilt is Not Encouraged,’ although we should try and limit our plastic use, comparing ourselves to others is only going to make it worse. All we should focus on is bettering ourselves rather than focusing on how your plastic use is doing compared to someone else.

One thought on “The Terrifying Reality of Plastic

  1. I also never realized how wasteful I actually was and how much plastic I actually used on a day to day basis. I am trying to be more cautious in how much plastic I use a day and trying to use non plastic silverware or bowls and not be lazy. It is also really unfortunate that our school is bad about recycling. In my dorm there is no compost or recycling bins anywhere, instead just a big pile of trash that adds up by the hour. It is really sad and I think that we should try and do something about our schools recycling problem.

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