Can you picture a world where nothing is made of plastic? It’s hard to imagine when more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year. Worst of all, only 10% of that plastic is recycled. Think about your daily routine: wake up to the sound of your alarm, take a shower using that new shampoo your friend recommended, have some breakfast on the go, and finally you’re on the commute to work. At least one or more products in this routine are made primarily or at least partly of plastic. Plastic is a large part of lives, whether most of us are aware of it or not.
In 2015, Science Magazine estimated between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, and it’s only increasing. What about when the plastic breaks down? Sadly, it doesn’t, at least, not all the way. One of the most valuable qualities of plastic is also the reason we have increasing amounts of contaminated ocean sediment. Over time, plastic does break down but reaches the category of “microplastic”, which arguably produces an even bigger issue. Problems such as entanglement can be immediately hazardous to marine animals but the increasing levels of microplastics can find their way back into our food.
In 2016, the United Nations Environment Program found that 30% of all fish had plastic in them. Every time you eat fish, you could be literally consuming tiny pieces of plastic in your food. Thankfully, for most of us this doesn’t pose any immediate issues, as our bodies’ own filtration system is able to rid our body of this contamination.
The plastic epidemic far out reaches any single plastic product, but it all begins with a change in our habits, followed by some education and general awareness. Each of us can do our part to help the environment from this seemingly impossible problem. You can find some simple tips to reduce your use of plastic here.
The number one thing you can do is to stay educated, and educate when you can, so that we are able to stay ahead of this problem before it really is unsolvable. Remember to use your Be Bottle in place of single-use plastic and do your part to save the planet!