Humans have created 9 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and most of this plastic still exists on earth. Only 9 percent has been recycled, and 11 percent incinerated. That leaves 80 percent of the plastic ever produced floating around in our waterways, poisoning fish, or releasing chemicals in landfills. As citizens of this planet we should be doing everything we can to reduce the amount of plastic we use.
There were two sad set-backs for plastic in our environment this past week, and both were pandering to big business and lobbyists, or “filling the swamp”.
First, our national parks had made an effort to begin banning plastic water bottles, but the new deputy secretary of the interior, with ties to the plastic bottle industry, changed the policy. Read about it here.
Second, on what should have been an easy issue, the Minneapolis City Council tabled a five-cent fee to be placed on plastic bags. The lobbyists and the plastic industry wins over our lakes and streams.
Never should plastic have been allowed to be produced without a plan to dispose of it. Sixty-seven years later plastic manufacturers and lobbyists are thriving, and elected officials continue to “fill the swamp” taking campaign money from them. If our parks and cities don’t lead by example our environment lacks places it can turn for leadership!
Please do what you can to reduce your plastic foot-print!
Simple ways to reduce your plastic pollution:
- Start simple and add one idea at a time
- Bring your own shopping bags
- Buy bulk and refill your own containers
- Don’t purchase bottled water
- Say “No” to straws, plastic spoons, forks, and knives
- Always choose glass containers over plastic!
- Never purchase products packaged in Styrofoam (Be aware of meat and produce trays)
- Recycle, recycle, recycle and reuse.