A Little Plastic Problem
This month of July 2019 around 120 million people joined the worldwide movement of #PlasticFreeChallenge, which helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution.
If you’re wondering how the problem started….
The first type of plastic was invented in 1869. Plastic was revolutionary because for the first time we humans were not limited to only using natural resources and materials, which do have a limited supply. At one point even, plastic not only helped humans but it also helped the environment (crazy right?).
After some time, plastics where suddenly EVERYWHERE. According to author Susan Freinkel, “ In product after product, market after market, plastic challenged traditional ,materials and won, taking the place of steel in cars, paper and glass in packaging, and wood in furniture.”
A little plastic problem
The first plastic debris was observed in the oceans in the 1960s but very few people cared. In 1970s and 80s plastic became a point of concern because it lasts forever in the environment.
So what did the plastic industry do? They invented recycling as a solution but the sad truth is that this solution isn’t perfect and most of the plastic waste still ends up in our oceans and landfills.
It is 2019 and plastic is spreading and affecting us even more already. The chemicals that plastic has is affecting us all around in our health, environment, and in our future. Plastics are killing animals, and have also entered our food stream.
How do you participate in the challenge?
Challenge yourself to avoid using single-use plastics during our social media campaigns and ongoing. And document your process by posting on social media to spread the word! #PlasticFreeChallenege (http://www.plasticfreechallenge.org/)
Maybe you don’t have to do “plastic free” if this is too overwhelming at first. Find ways to incorporate less plastic in your life. This benefits present and future generation, it affects you. The time to act is now.
> Carry a water bottle with you (and also reusable coffee cup)
> Buy reusable tote bags when grocery shopping and little reusable mesh baggies for your veggies and fruits. A plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade.
> Switch to a Bamboo toothbrush
> Switch out your plastic shampoo, conditioner, soap, dish soap, face wash and so on for an all bar method.
> Make a conscious decision to buy things that do not come in plastic packaging. > Buy less water bottles and more reusable bottles.
> Buy and carry around reusable straws.
> Try buying gum without plastic because gum (yes, GUM) has plastic in it. The reason why you don’t see plastic as one of the ingredients in gum is because it is named different. Plastic is disguised as the ingredient Polyvinyl acetate or polyethylene, which is used for products like plastic bags and hula hoops.
> This one is probably the simplest one: grab your fork from your drawer and take it to go, reuse it.
The cause you are supporting
Plastic is a huge part of our constant waste. In fact, by 2050 it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean, then fish in the sea. This fact was found by an article that reached billions of people on social media posted by the Washington post but originally sourced from The World Economic Forum.
Remember that you do not have to end this challenge when August comes around. This could be your lifelong commitment or it could be your 2 week, 1 day commitment.
We appreciate you for reading and allowing yourself to become more conscious about your footprint on this earth.
With much love,
By: Nicole Castillo
“The History and Future of Plastics.” Science History Institute, 20 Dec 2016