Plastic, Plastic, Plastic… It’s a product that is often very useful for humans, but extremely destructive for our wildlife, our environment and our planet as a whole. But how?
The major problem is in fact, that this man-made product is not biodegradable in any sense of the word. Every piece of plastic created on this planet, is still in our environment today, in one way or another. I’m sure you’ve all been somewhere in the world where there is rubbish on the beach, on the street, in the dirt and piled up outside the door — I certainly have.
But what if everyone decided to use bio-degradable products instead? It’s not as hard as it may seem…
Here are the 5 plastic products that stand out to me, that are very easy to replace with products that are not as deadly to the environment. We just need to demand that companies get on board too:
Those tiny little beads in your face and body exfoliators are doing amazing things for your skin, but they aren’t doing amazing things for basically anything else. Every time you use one of these scrubs on your body, you wash them down the sink and go about your day, you’re actually polluting our waterways by the millions.
Every time they enter the water from your bathroom at home, the beads flow down to the sewage systems but are too small to filter out. They flow into the ocean, absorb harmful toxins in the water and are consumed by the millions of marine life that lie below the surface.
And don’t forget… If you’re a meat-eater, you’re probably consuming them too.
These tiny little plastic beads that are commonly found in exfoliators are also used in toothpaste, makeup, body washes and more. You’ve probably never thought about the fact that you’re potentially brushing your teeth with plastic, huh?
Alternative: Look for products with the “Zero Plastic Inside” symbol. Every natural exfoliant will be free of microbeads; they exfoliate your skin with other alternatives such as ground walnut shells, sugar, bamboo and other biodegradable products. Using a wash bar that comes in compostable packaging is an even bigger win.
In the US alone, 1,500 plastic bottles are consumed every second. That’s 129 million + a day, and 47 billion every year. Most of these plastic bottles are non-recyclable due to the BPA chemical that is used to make the plastic firm.
This BPA chemical is not only terrible for the human body, but the bottles themselves are living on the surface of our earth due to their non-recyclable compounds.
Alternative: No matter where you are in the world, contact these multibillion dollar companies such as coco cola, nestlé, pepsico etc. and demand that they do better. Bring a refillable bottle wherever you go, and when you’re travelling to countries where the water isn’t overly potable, use a water filtration system!
Produce Bags / Plastic Bags
Plastic bags are actually reusable, although the average person only uses them once before they are tossed in the bin. 10,000,0000 new bags are used every day. On a daily basis, I witness plastic bags flying around the streets, on the side of the road and in the ocean unable to break down.
The real problem with these light types of plastic is that they’re flimsy. They are so light that they travel for miles and miles underwater, through our air and into the lungs of our animals.
Alternative: Re-usable eco shopping bags. They’re foldable, easy to use, sturdy and you won’t be throwing away hundreds of plastic bags for our wildlife to consume. Win-win!
Around the world, we use 500 million straws every day. 500,000,000 plastic straws that are created from the same bi-product used to fuel our vehicles, that end up in our waterways to be consumed by our marine life.
The problem with plastic straws is that they are so small and slim, making them extremely easy to be consumed by birds and sea life. They’re created with an ingredient that is created in the bid to make them last forever.
Unfortunately, the average person only uses them for around 20 minutes before they are thrown in the trash or terribly tossed onto the ground. Millions of these tiny little tubes have been found in the sand, floating in the ocean and wedged inside the airways of wildlife. There are enough of them used every day, to wrap around the circumference of the earth more than two times…
Straws are essential for the disabled community, but if you don’t truly need one, ditch the straw!
Alternative: Look for paper, titanium, glass or bamboo straws. Look for straws that are made from plant-derived ingredients or ones that are 100% reusable. They aren’t as difficult to find as you may think. While you’re at it, we should also be encouraging restaurants and businesses to only give straws if you ask for one. We no longer need one in every drink.
These are the types of razors that become blunt after one or two uses. These are the razors that are created in China, the most polluted country in the world, that end up in landfill by the billions. To be exact, there are more than 2 billion disposable razors that find their way to landfill sites… And that is just in the US alone.
These little buggers do not break down and are too sturdy to recycle, so they’re finding their way into the landscapes where they will lie for years and years to come. The energy used to create them is significantly stacking up due to the heat needed to compress the steel.
It’s not only the environmental impact that’s harmful; cutting out the consumption of these razors will also impact the economy too. The cost to create, transport and import these products is millions and millions of dollars…
So basically, these unnecessary items are sticking to our landscapes, the manufacturing is releasing a huge amount of c02 and they are also impacting the economy. Where are the positives?
Alternative: A stainless steel safety razor – they are totally zero waste and do a great job at removing any unwanted hair!
Becoming plastic-free doesn’t mean getting rid of your Tupperware and drinking out of a handmade paper cup. It means avoiding the one-use plastic products that are doing no good for you, or the environment. There are so many alternatives that are sustainable, better for you and better for the planet.
But it’s not just up to us… We need to encourage these big corporations to do take responsibility too!
[ READ NEXT: 5 Easy Steps to Help Clean Up the Ocean ]
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