Green Alternatives to Plastic
Plastic has been our society’s blessing and a great curse. The notion of disposable, single-use plastic products made it the most readily discarded type of material in the world. We produce almost 300 million tons of plastic yearly and half of it is the single use type. We really need to think of green alternatives to plastic now.
Just think about it: plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic bottles, plastic straws, all intended to be used just once. There are even more, less obvious examples such as Q-tips, glitter, diapers, sanitary pads, syringes and other medical equipment. Disposable plastic is everywhere, and it ends up everywhere.
The most troubling picture comes from world’s oceans, where tons of never-decaying plastic end up, carried by rivers, wind, thrown out from boats and harbors and washed away from beaches. More than 8 million tons of plastic end up in oceans every year.
Why Avoid Plastic?
The main problem with plastic is the same thing that made it so popular – its durability.
Plastic objects take hundreds of years to decompose, and that is an optimistic estimation since we had no time to actually test it.
The plastic trouble continues on microscopic, physiological levels as well. More and more studies find that many compounds of plastic materials, such as BPA, are causing damage to ecosystems, animal populations, and human health.
Last but not the least, don’t forget that plastic is made out of crude oil, and therefore has a significant impact on our environment when it comes to CO2 emissions and other pollutants that are created in the process of turning oil into plastic. Also, see Green Alternatives to Fossil Fuels.
If we don’t do something about our global plastic addiction, our children are going to inherit a planet which looks more like one big garbage dump than the blue marvel it used to be. So, what can we do?
How to Avoid Plastic?
The first step in reducing our plastic use is to identify the disposable plastic items we often buy and use. Then, we have to find green alternatives.
Here are several hints about the most common plastic waste, and the green alternatives to plastic we can use.
- Plastic Bags
- Take Out Containers
- Zip lock Bags
- Plastic Bottles
- Disposable Tableware
- Disposable Razors
To Sum It Up
Because enormous amounts of plastic being produced and disposed of every second, experts have proclaimed that the upcoming plastic waste crisis will be as threatening and challenging as climate change. While it is up to governments to restrict or ban certain types of disposable plastic, it is up to every one of us to be mindful of what we buy and use.
By going plastic-free you are producing less trash, saving marine life, reducing fossil fuels-related emissions, and protecting your own body form dangerous chemicals that leach out of plastic.
Even if you can’t do completely without plastic, making simple adjustments in such as utilizing reusable and lasting bags, bottles and razors, and swapping items such as plastic toothbrushes and Q-tips with those made out of natural materials will go a long way.
It may seem like a small step, but if everyone took those steps, we would put an end to the proliferation of plastic waste that is smothering our planet.