The Horrifying Impact of Plastic Pollution

This is the third blog this week I have done on plastic. If this doesn’t cause you to reduce plastic use, nothing will.  Plastic is harmful to wildlife, but it is also ending up in our food. Make reduction of plastic-use a daily habit.

Photo: Shutterstock

 

“The horrifying impact of plastic pollution on marine life is well documented.  Greenpeace found that plastic pollution in the ocean has negatively affected at least 267 species worldwide, including 86 percent of all sea turtle species, 44 percent of all seabird species and 43 percent of all marine mammal species. Large pieces of plastic floating in the ocean are easily mistaken for food by seabirds, whales, dolphins and turtles. When plastic is ingested by these animals, it blocks their digestive tracts and gets lodged in their windpipes, cutting off or filling their stomach, which results in malnutrition, starvation and death. It also causes fatalities due to infection, drowning and entanglement.” Earth911. Read the entire article here 

Simple ways to reduce your plastic pollution:

Bring you own bag
Bring you own bag
  1. Start simple and add one idea at a time
  2. Bring your own shopping bags
  3. Buy bulk and refill your own containers
  4. Don’t purchase bottled water
  5. Say “No” to straws, plastic spoons, forks, and knives
  6. Always choose glass containers over plastic!
  7. Never purchase Styrofoam (Be aware of meat and produce trays)

When It Comes To Plastic

Lake Superior and all lakes are precious, protect them!
Lake Superior and all lakes are precious, protect them!

Yesterday I was at the public library in Superior, Wisconsin.  I was impressed with an educational display by Wisconsin Coastal Management . They had a large display of trash that a student group had picked up from a one day beach trash pick-up from a local Lake Superior beach.  Ideas from the trash collected created an educational poster for the public. Plastic breaks into tiny bits, is eaten by our fish, and probably will last hundreds of years, maybe forever!

This is their excellent education piece:wp-image-493016558jpeg.jpeg

 

Jeff Bridges On Single-Use Plastic

Is this the way we want our lakes, streams and oceans to look?
Is this the way we want our lakes, streams and oceans to look?

Jeff Bridges has taken on plastic waste and has an excellent video and list of ways to reduce your plastic pollution.  See his video here.

Here are 10 easy ways to reduce your plastic footprint:

Bring your own shopping bag to the grocery store

Stop buying bottled water – Use a reusable bottle instead

Say no to straws

Stop using disposable razors – Buy one with a replaceable cartridge

Ditch the plastic baggies – Wax paper and mason jars work wonders in the kitchen

Avoid using plastic utensils – Bring your own fork when you eat out

Choose glass over plastic

Buy the powdered version – Liquid versions of soaps and detergents tend to come in plastic bottles, powdered products come in cardboard boxes

Cut out the BPA – If a plastic bottle has a 3,7 or PC sign, it contains the most toxic types of plastic

Follow #RefusePlastic on social media for more ideas and to join the conversation

http://www.startribune.com/is-plastic-permanent-well-it-s-our-legacy-at-least/375907301/

This is an argument against Jeff Bridges video.  Fish, birds, other wildlife, our oceans and all of us are being harmed by plastic.  The below argument is very weak:

http://www.startribune.com/politifact-is-plastic-permanent-no-it-goes-away-sooner-or-later/375907261/

Never use baggies again:

wpid-wp-1418614582040.jpeg

http://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/  Plastic is a substance the earth cannot digest!

Our Plastic Life is Sad

Plastic bottles on the way to the Agean Sea
A river of plastic bottles on the way to the Aegean Sea

A recent study by the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation has found that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.  This is a terrible man-made crisis, and not enough is being done to stop the cascade of plastic.  Everyone of us needs to take personal responsibility to reduce our plastic consumption. The plastic industry is unchecked, and never should such a nuisance product been put into society without a plan to clean up or reuse.   We are stuck with plastic, but we can all reduce the amount of plastic we use today and every day from now on.  Especially think carefully before you purchase a plastic tubes that cannot be recycled. There is too much information in this post, but I hope you can find one thing below to help you to reduce your plastic consumption!

http://onegreenplanet.org/crushplastic

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/stunning-infographic-shows-how-our-plastic-habit-impacts-the-ocean-and-marine-animals/

12packwaterbottles

14 Ways You Can #CrushPlastic in Your Daily Life

  1. Carry a spare canvas bag for groceries or small items you might purchase throughout your day.
  2. Bring a reusable water bottle instead of buying a plastic one.
  3. Take a mug with you to work or class and ditch the plastic cups.
  4. Say no to plastic straws and utensils when eating out and bring your own stainless steel reusable ones.
  5. Use mason jars when grocery shopping to store all your bulk food items.
  6. Use cloth or reusable bags instead of produce bags when food shopping.
  7. Replace your plastic food storage bags with stainless steel tins or mason jars.
  8. DIY your own cosmetics instead of buying ones in plastic tubes. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/ultimate-guide-to-diy-beauty/
  9. Reduce plastic packaging in your cleaning routine by making your own natural cleaners. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/ultimate-guide-to-diy-cleaning/
  10. Avoid microbeads in your exfoliating face or body wash.
  11. Try DIY-ing your shampoo and conditioner instead of buying plastic bottles.
  12. Switch to bar soap and shampoo to avoid plastic packaging.
  13. Skip the plastic tube toothpaste and make your own! http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/ultimate-guide-to-diy-hygiene/
  14. Buy plastic-free beauty, hygiene, and cleaning products, like bamboo toothbrushes, plastic-free makeup brushes and natural material sponges.

https://health4earth.com/2015/05/05/surprising-things-about-plastic/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/people-who-prove-that-living-plastic-free-is-possible/

http://ecowatch.com/2016/01/20/more-plastic-than-fish-in-ocean/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=137ca14cc3-Top_News_1_24_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-137ca14cc3-85912169

Just say, “No straw!”

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Just say “no” to straws

My series on #31daysoflesswaste continues: How can you use less plastic today, and everyday? Below is an exciting campaign to eliminate the use of straws. It gives you hope!

Keeping plastic out our oceans, lakes and rivers is essential. Below is a video of a “No Straw” campaign being done by high school students in California.  You will like it.

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/photos/16-simple-ways-to-reduce-plastic-waste/just-say-no-to-straws#ixzz3KqhfhwN1

 

 

Erase Plastic Pollution

Do we want water that looks like this?
Do we want waterways that looks like this?

My series on less waste continues:

We can all do something about this tremendous influx of trash and I will be posting ideas for 31 days on how to reduce trash and waste:

Plastic, what an amazing and awful product at the same time.! It is cheap and it is light.  Unfortunately, it has become an enormous environmental problem.  Many lack the personal responsibility to get single-use plastic bottles and bags to the recycle bin.  Many developing nations I visit seem oblivious to it, except in tourist areas! Days 6 through 11 of #31daysofreducingwaste are going to focus on how we can have less plastic pollution.

So what is the problem with plastic? Many say the materials in plastic cause cancer. Plastic will never dissolve, but will break into thousands of pieces of litter. The plastic in the oceans will be here on earth for hundreds of years and it will be found in the intestines of many fish, turtles and birds.  Plastic creates a terrible waste and litter problem.  According to the http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/tag/plastic/   If left unchecked, there could be 250 million tons of plastic in the ocean by 2025 — about one pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish. We can’t let this happen.

Avoid plastic, fill your glass or metal bottles with liquid

Avoid plastic, fill your glass or metal bottles with liquid

** The best way to reduce plastic trash is NOT to drink bottled water. Bring a reusable water bottle to work, school, and for all your adventures.

**Avoid plastic bags. Always bring your reusable shopping bags.

Shopping bags made from recycled plasstic
Shop with reusable bags

** How can you avoid baggies?  I love these wpid-wp-1418350258136.jpegcompostable wax paper bags

** Reuse and recycle all plastic bags.

Please recycle plastic bags at grocery stores!
Please recycle plastic bags at grocery stores!

* Reduce packaging: Try to purchase items with no packaging or packaging that can be recycled.

 

 

** Never purchase items that contain microbeads :  https://health4earth.com/2014/07/16/what-products-contain-microbeads/

 

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. (Source: EPA)

http://washburn.mpls.k12.mn.us/washburn_green_team_video.html  This is a great video made by my local high school students on reducing trash.

 

Single-Use is Ocean Abuse

Do we want water that looks like this?
Do we want water that looks like this?

Below is from Plastic Pollution Coalition:      http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/

Take The Pledge to Use Less Plastic Every Day   http://actnow.surfrider.org/app/sign-petition?0&engagementId=58936

Change Begins Onshore

Plastic lasts forever… our oceans are turning into plastic soup.

It doesn’t biodegrade and no naturally occurring organisms can break it down. Plastic photodegrades, which means that sunlight breaks it down into smaller and smaller pieces. Those small pieces drift in the ocean and are mistaken for food by fish and birds.

It is undisputable that plastic pollution is killing marine life through ingestion and entanglement in plastic marine litter.

Up to 80% of the plastic in our oceans comes from the land – us. Single-use is ocean abuse. So, make a pledge today to make these simple 5 changes, which will have a huge impact on our oceans health:

1) Use cloth shopping bags. For each reusable bag you use, it’s estimated that another 400 plastic bags will be kept from being used.
2) Forget bottled water and carry a reusable canteen. Every reusable water bottle will keep another 167 plastic bottles from entering the environment.
3) Bring a reusable mug when you go to your local coffee shop.
4) Skip the straw, which are one of the top 10 items found on beaches.
5) And, of course, Recycle!

TAKE THE PLEDGE: COMMIT to Rising Above Plastics! http://actnow.surfrider.org/app/sign-petition?0&engagementId=58936  

http://www.organicgardening.com/living/5-key-strategies-plastic-free-life

http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/02/13/trashing-the-ocean-new-study-provides-first-estimate-of-how-much-plastic-flows-into-the-ocean/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/great-pacific-garbage-patch-is-destroying-the-oceans/