5 Easy Ways To Break Up With Plastic
Plastic is everywhere. We carry things in it, we eat from it, we drink from it, we write with it, we play with it, we create with it, we wear it, the list for it's applications goes on and on. But do we really need it?
I see plastic kind of like how I see a brilliant idea you and your friends come up with while you're wasted. It makes perfect sense at the time, everyone gets really excited about it, everyone buys in, everyone is committed but then you sober up and after a while, it ends up ruining your life.
According to the Functional Medicine University, plastics are now considered as the number pollutant in the human body, causing all sorts of issues ranging from damage to hormone function, to chronic inflammation to pancreatic issues.
Hyperboles and fake scenarios aside, we have advanced enough as a society to be able to find smarter, more eco friendly alternatives to the material that is so entrenched in our everyday lives.
There are a plethora of reasons why plastic isn't great. Babe, you're better off without it, and you should really break up with it.
For those that don't really understand what the big deal is, below is a list of why plastic is so harmful:
- It stays in the environment for at least 2000 years
- It encourages a "throw-away" and "disposable" society
- Even recycled items are often "down-cycled" for just one more use
- Most of it isn't recycled and ends up in landfill and on top of that...
- A lot ends up in waterways and the ocean
- It's such a mammoth and urgent issue that scientists predict there will be more tonnes of plastic than tonnes of fish by 2050
- There's already a giant island of garbage floating in the North Pacific Ocean called "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch" that's about the size of Texas or France
- It's kills a lot of wildlife, particlarly marine life
- The plastic gets transferred through food chain along with all the pollutants and toxins
- Plastic can contains harmful toxins like BPA, BPS, phthalates, mercury and lead
Thankfully, there are lot's of super easy and accessible ways to get plastic out of your life for good. Here are some great ways to start:
- Get a reusable bag for your shopping.
This isn't just limited to groceries, basically any time you need to carry things, opt for a re-usable bag over a disposable one. Don't yet have a bag? A good place to start is to refuse plastic bags when you can clearly carry things with your own hands because sometimes, it's just habit for people to offer you one and it's habit to accept one.
- Say no to straws.
Either carry your own reusable straw, there are loads out there made from steel, bamboo, glass... whatever floats your boat. Alternatively, you can forgo them all together and drink directly from the glass or bottle, because you're badass like that.
- Invest is an awesome water bottle.
Toxins leach from plastic into your water and the disposable nature of plastic water bottles is unnecessary and gross. Get yourself a new best friend and carry it wherever you go, as a bonus you'll stay hydrated and healthy.
- BYO Food containers if you're getting food to go.
I know for some this can seem like a hassle, but laziness is the enemy of progress here. There are lots of cute and compact cutlery packs, food containers and coffee cups out there. If we can make the choice to order food to go, we can make the choice to pack it into our re-usable containers.
- Say no to stuff wrapped in plastic.
If you put your attention to it, you will notice there's a whole lot of things unnecessarily wrapped in plastic. From produce at the supermarket, to dry goods like nuts and seeds. And if they are displayed "loose" there are plastic bags on offer to pop them into. Try shopping at a bulk foods place or co-op instead, where you can BYO reusable glass containers and make your pantry not only organised, but super pinterest worthy as well.
So as hard and pointless as it may seem, because plastic is in almost everything, we can actually make a difference. If we start with the small, yet totally accessible steps above, we can contribute meaningfully and immediately towards a cleaner, more sustainable and happier world. We got this!