Plastic is indeed a very useful material that could help to cater to our needs due to its convenience, affordable to mass-produce, and easily thrown away after one-time use. However, as the days passed by we realized that though it is very easy to produce a huge amount of plastic all at once, getting rid of it is a totally different matter.
While recycling programs have been implemented in developed countries, it is believed that only 5% of plastics are actually recycled, with the rest of it ending up in landfills and the ocean. The majority of plastic never completely degrades. Thus, they remain in our environment, slowly breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces.
Most of the plastic garbage that ends up in our seas comes from litter or uncollected debris. It is estimated that eight million metric tons of plastic materials enter our oceans each year. Plastic garbage has been even discovered in the deepest sections of the ocean. Indicating that the amount of plastic waste in our seas has now reached a critical level. Unless we address the source of this issue, it is predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.
There are the top 5 of the major waste that we can find littering our ocean and environment:
- Food wrappers
- Bottle caps
- Beverage bottles
- Plastic Bags
- Straws and stirrers
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What Can We Do?
We can also do something to help maintain and protect our environment by making changes to our day-to-day life. Simply stopping to use plastic on a daily basis, can bring an impact to lower the quantity of plastic garbage. From now on you can choose to reduce the amount of plastic waste by carrying your water bottle, and straws, and using your own reusable shopping bags. These actions might seem simple, but they definitely will help. Here are 4 simple things you can do to help protect our earth
Stop purchasing plastic bottles
As you can see from the list above, the largest source of plastic garbage is beverage bottles and their caps. Every minute, millions of plastic bottles are purchased in the world. But unfortunately, only a small portion of millions of plastic bottles get recycled. This is definitely a very concerning situation if we don’t try to make habitual changes that can help us prevent reaching for a bottle of water at the convenience store.
What you can do to prevent this from happening is to get your personalized water bottles that could be used as a substitute for it. It can be used repeatedly, and you can bring it anywhere with you with ease. Thus you have to worry no more about convenience and are still able to protect the environment.
Always bring a reusable shopping bag
A plastic bag is usually only used once, but it takes a long time to get rid of it completely. It is also exceedingly challenging to efficiently manage them because they are hard to recycle and have very little value even if collected. Buying reusable shopping bags is the ultimate right decision in this situation. Reusable bags are ideal for a variety of uses and are portable and simple to fold when not in use.
Bring your own reusable straws
Have you ever come across a picture where a turtle gets its nose stuck with a plastic straw? Indeed, the very heartbreaking photo really speaks to just how dire the problem that we are currently facing is. Plastic straws are one of the most common garbage that we can see polluting the ocean.
Another thing that we can do to prevent this is by rejecting any straw that was given to us whenever we go to a restaurant or other establishment. Instead always bring your own reusable straw, which you could bring easily anywhere and use whenever you need. Stainless steel or bamboo could be the materials that you opt for for your reusable straws.
Reduce, Reuse Recycle
If you want to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, applying the 3 Rs, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle in your daily life is definitely very important. This will help you produce less waste, save natural resources, and consume less energy and landfill space.
These are some simple things that you can use as a guideline if you are a beginner who wants to make changes to the world. Though you may think that this is a small thing, if you do it continuously while at the same time helping to raise awareness for people so they adopt the same lifestyle, it will do wonders for our environment!