Plastic surrounds us. We eat, sleep, and breathe plastic. But now we have an excessive amount of it, and it keeps getting put to waste. If people think that when they recycle their plastic today that they are doing something good for the economy, they are mostly wrong. The plastic that is getting ‘recycled’ isn’t going to get recycled. Only 9 percent of the plastic that people recycle is getting recycled. But this also does not mean it is getting recycled efficiently. Only 2 percent out of the 9 is getting used effectively to where people will be able to use it again. So where does all this plastic end up? Across the ocean after we ship it over the low-income countries that apparently deserve all our trash just because they don’t have as much stability snd money to rid of it as we do. Seeing the impact, we have on these countries is just horrific and we need to make personal changes to benefit ourselves but also others around us.
I made a list of all the most common things I might buy at a grocery store and my durable goods that I use or used a lot. Below is a picture of all these things and then alternatives that could be used instead to help create a plastic free environment.
For grocery shopping I do use my own bags and have been doing that since forever. With my mom, we would always take our own recyclable bags that we would just reuse each time so we wouldn’t have to waste the useless plastic bags they give away at the stores. Now living down in Charleston on my own, I take my own backpacks to the store if I ever wanted to buy things for my dorm room. Water bottles are a huge problem too. People go out to the store to buy those big 20 packs of water when that Is just a complete waste. There are so many alternatives like getting a Brita filter if you think your sink water in unhealthy so that you can just keep reusing that at home. Going out you can use a reusable water bottle and not grab a quick and disposable water bottle that you’re going to toss right after finishing it.
Over the past week I have been able to use all the alternatives to good use. I don’t have a car down here, but I have been able to walk everywhere I have needed to go which is good for the environment. I use my phone instead of buying the disposable cameras that people have begun to start buying again. I think they are a cute idea, but I think the cameras that are disposable are a big waste of plastic. For mac and cheese, I have not bought the pastic cups in a while and have bought the bozes. I do know that still isn’t the best, but it is a better alternative and I think the small changes can start to make a big difference if everyone starts to act.
There are things that I am not able to replace which are the electronics like my phone and my computer. I use these both every day for social and education purposes. My computer isn’t really a wasteful piece of plastic a I will be using this for many years to come. I think moving forward, these bigger things that we need in our life right now aren’t the problem. We don’t need to focus on how we are going to be able to rid of all pastic. We should focus on the small waste we throw away daily. Making those small changes in each and everyone’s like will make a bigger difference then most people might expect. People might be surprised to see that they could help make an impact on our future world.