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Plastic pollution is becoming a huge issue in our daily lives. We produce more and more plastic every day that stays in landfills and our oceans for hundreds, if not thousands of years! If it ends up in our oceans, it chokes our marine life. If it ends up in our landfills, the plastic will sit there until it rots. This rotting produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas that is up to 25 more times more potent than the other leading greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.
If that wasn’t bad enough, here’s the kicker: Just the act of manufacturing plastic is polluting to the environment. Plastic is manufactured using chemicals such as benzene and vinyl hydrochloride, a process which produces more greenhouse gases and further exacerbates the problem of climate change. It’s also important to note that this plastic will never go away. Once it’s in our environment, it’s there for good. It can be broken up into smaller pieces, called “microplastics”, but those smaller pieces are just as toxic, and potentially even more harmful, because they are more easily ingested by marine organisms, and therefore, us!
What can I do?
It is true that by ourselves, we cannot do much. The actions of one person do not amount to much. But if enough people begin to live more consciously and sustainably, we can start a movement that ensures our environment will be healthy for later generations and forces the hand of polluting corporations to do business responsibly. Just last January, Coca-Cola stated at the Davos Economic Forum that it could not ditch plastic bottles, because its consumers overwhelmingly still wanted to use them because of their convenience. We have the power to make a change, if enough of us take a stance.
You might be asking yourself, what can I do then? The best thing individuals can do is start to change their habits. We are producing more and more waste every year, and at its root it is because of our obsession with convenience. The top four polluters of plastic in our oceans are: plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic bottles, and plastic food containers/ wrappers. These items are such big sources of pollution because they are items that a large portion of our population uses on a daily basis, and are super convenient.
Going zero waste means reducing the trash you produce on a daily basis, especially the single-use plastics we just mentioned, by switching to more sustainable options. The best thing we can do is invest in reusable options. Reusable bags, reusable straws, reusable bottles, etc.
If enough people invest in these options, we can dramatically cut down on the amount of plastic waste we produce, and show corporations that we want them to do business sustainably and responsibly.
Browse through our products on our front page, or take our quiz to find out what you can invest in to have the biggest impact on reducing plastic pollution.