Plastic is an economical and convenient packaging available that we has become a part and parcel of our daily life. Read along some of the findings that will make you re-think when you are opting to use plastic for your next shopping or picnic getaway.
- Some 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year from coastal regions.
- 40 percent of plastic produced is packaging, used just once and then discarded.
- The plastic typically used in bottles, bags and food containers contains chemical additives such as endocrine disruptors, which are associated with negative health effects including cancers, birth defects and immune system suppression in humans and wildlife.
It takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. Unfortunately, the bags don’t break down completely but instead photo-degrade, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.ACS Publications. 2020. “Degradation Rates of Plastics in the Environment,” Pages 3495, 3499-3500, 3503. 1
These data surely look unnerving but rather being intimidated, we need to take immediate steps in right direction to control and reverse the damage done. With eco-consciousness increasing, alternatives to plastics are available. Adopting the eco-friendly alternatives in our daily life requires un-learning and re-learning of habits.
One simple way is each person bringing his or her own bags for shopping or packing lunch in reusable containers or compostable tableware. If done over a year, it can bring a substantial difference.