Over the last decade humans have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. Oceans now contain billions of pounds of plastic. Plastic is a substance the earth cannot digest. Plastic pollution is harmful to human and animal health, waterways and oceans and the environment as a whole. So, what can be done? It starts with eliminating single-use plastic, or plastic that’s used for a few minutes before being thrown away. Here are 10 more ways to reduce plastic pollution.
1. Bottled water
Stop buying plastic bottled water. Get a reusable bottle and refill it.
2. Plastic grocery bags
Just say no to single-use plastic grocery bags. Bring your own bags wherever you shop.
3. Stay informed
Learn the facts about plastic pollution. That “floating continent” of plastic garbage in the Pacific Ocean is only the tip of the iceberg. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade; it photodegrades, meaning it breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces, creating a plastic soup in our oceans.
4. No more straws
Refuse plastic straws in your drink. Get used to saying “No, straw please,” when dining out.
5. Food storage alternatives
Give up plastic wraps and bags. Purchase alternatives or reuse glass jars.
6. Avoid pre-packaged food
Cook real food whenever possible. Packaged food is often wrapped in plastic. Thousands of chemicals are used in food packaging and can migrate into the food or liquid they hold.
7. Strategic boycotts
Vote with your dollars. Pay attention to the entire lifecycle of items you bring into your life, from source to manufacturing to distribution to disposal. Demand better alternatives to disposable plastic.
8. The beach
Join a beach clean up near you.
9. Wear natural fibers
Choose clothes made with natural fibers whenever possible. Synthetic clothes shed small plastic fibers when washed that pollute rivers and oceans.
10. Going out
Refuse foam food and drink containers. Bring your own reusable container or eat in at restaurants.
Emily DiFrisco, Director of Digital Strategy, Plastic Pollution Coalition, [email protected]