There are a few things in my life that have pushed me to try and reduce our reliance on plastic. I've worked in a plasticizer plant so I know what goes into plastics and I know what comes out of the process and into our air, water and land. We have also sailed through two of the garbage patches. The first time we went through one I totally thought that one of the fishing boats was dumping garbage but as old bags and water bottles became tires and chairs I knew that it was more than just one person carelessly dumping into the ocean. And it is...it is millions of people carelessly discarding their waste in the ocean or in ways that it eventually ends up in the ocean.
Source - Plastic Garbage Project
This is the amount of plastic dumped into the ocean every 15 seconds
Plastic is deceiving because you think it can all be recycled. Well it can't. Some isn't recyclable at all (like the stupid plastic shrink bands that go around the top of margarine and other plastic bottles) and others really depend on your local recycling rules. #4 plastic is my nemesis. So many things we use (like salt for our water softener) come in bags that are a #4 plastic and our city does not take it. But there is sits with it nice little recycling symbol making me think it should be recycled and that I am bad for throwing it in the garbage.
While greenies like myself hate plastic, companies love it. It is cheap, easy to work with, easy to make and light to transport. There in lies the problem, in the short term plastic is not going away. If we want it to in the long term we need to speak with our actions and our dollars. The best way to reduce the amount of plastic you are disposing is to not even bring it into your house in the first place!
* Look for products that have no (or less) plastic packaging
* Support companies that are going plastic free
* Make small changes like replacing plastic straws with a glass one
* NO MORE BOTTLED WATER (come on people!!)
* If you do have plastic containers, reuse them when you buy in bulk or repurpose them for other uses (just don't reheat food in them)
* Buy wooden toys for your kids
* Take your own containers when getting takeout
If you are looking for lots of fantastic tips and information on how to cut the plastic from your life then check out Beth's book. She is serious the plastic free diva! Bonus is that her book is plastic free and biodegradable. I bought it electronically for my PlayBook to save on environmental impact of shipping. Buy Plastic Free
How plastic free is your life? What are you doing to reduce the amount of plastic you use?
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