It’s Plastic Free July, so I thought why not examine the extent of our lives consumed by plastics.
Plastic Free July is an initiative started in Perth, Australia to increase global awareness to reduce and eliminate the usage of single use plastic in our day-to-day life.
Plastic, plastic everywhere!
Plastic shopping bags are the most common form of plastics we know, but if you think about it, plastics are everywhere! They are found in cell phones, furniture, toothbrushes and food packaging among other day-to-day products.
300 million tons of plastic are produced every year around the world and 50% of this plastic is used only once before being disposed like in the case of food packaging, published the Journal of Reviews on Environmental Health.
Plastics have a wide range of useful and unique properties that has helped society evolve and develop. However, the material also has negative health and environmental impacts associated with its use.
The health effects of chemicals in the plastics is a highly debated topic. BPA, a chemical present in certain food and beverage products has been found to be harmful to health and led to the U.S FDA banning BPA from being present in baby bottles and cups for toddlers, stated the journal. Research is still being conducted on effects of PVC and other chemicals in plastics on human health, which indicates that we need to cautious going further.
What can we do
Don’t mistake me, I am not against plastics nor am I campaigning for the total ban of it. I simply urge you to think about whether it is wise economically, health-wise or for the Earth to buy single use plastics.
Things you can do:
- Use a flask or mug for your water and refill it instead of buying a plastic bottled water
- Reduce your upgrade of mobile phones to only when necessary and recycle or donate your old phones
- Take a reusable cloth or jute bag while going shopping
- Use reusable glass or steel containers to store food and snacks
Think about the impacts of plastic disposal, as a few thousand miles away, a Nemo, Dory or Mr. Turtle can mistakenly eat your fizzy drink cap and choke. If there are recycling bins or centers available near you, make the effort to collect your plastic items and dispose it there.