One of the biggest problems with plastic is it’s misuse, and an estimated 79% of all plastic, a large majority, becomes litter, which totals to 6.3 billion metric tons. Now, with so much plastic, what makes it so dangerous is mostly where it can end up – the ocean.
91% of plastic is not recycled, making its way to the natural environment pretty quickly after production. Also, since plastic is non biodegradable, while plastic will break down into smaller and smaller bits and pieces, plastic never truly goes away, creating a permanent source of contamination for places like the ocean, where sea animals are constantly being strangled by, whether by eating it thinking that it’s food, or by it wrapping around its neck, such as the rings from beer and soda cans. With this, it’s obvious that plastic is not only destroying our oceans, but also our environment as a whole.
Knowing all of this, why don’t more companies and governing bodies do more? Well, since most companies’ main goal is to make a profit rather than save the environment, it’s hard to expect any company to do anything major for nature. Knowing this, it’s important to understand the vital part the individual plays in taking care of the planet, and knowing that companies, for the most part, aren’t concerned about the environment. However, some companies, such as cleaning product company Method, uses recycled plastic in all of its products, and also are constantly improving their environmental impact. For the most part, however, it’s up to us, the people.
But where should one start is they want to reduce the amount of waste they produce? Well, for starters, taking steps to stop throwing away plastic is the best approach. Things like plastic bags and straws are things that we don’t think we use a lot of, but end up consuming a lot of plastic this way. Therefore, using reusable versions of these products will not only save you some money over time, as businesses are starting to charge for plastic bags and straws, but also will greatly reduce the amount of plastic that you throw away on a daily basis. Another great way to reduce the waste you produce is by saying goodbye to water bottles and hello to water filters! Drinking water from a water filter as opposed to a water bottle will significantly reduce the amount of plastic you waste, as well as save a pretty penny at the grocery store!
Overall, with the amount of plastic that’s in the ocean today: 150 million tons with 8 being added to that amount every year, it’s clear that something needs to be done. Reducing the amount of plastic is more important than ever with levels of pollution like this, and action needs to be taken if we want to be able to have our future generations live on this planet.