Plastic-Free Revolution

656711_31402895The gym…movie theaters…hotels, god the hotels…vending machines at schools, even—they dispense those horrible-for-the-planet plastic water bottles like they were penny candy. It’s hard to imagine there are enough chemicals and raw materials on a dozen planets to fabricate the plastic that will still be on ours, not degrading or breaking down, for generations. Many communities are finally getting rid of plastic shopping bags. Milk has gone back to paper cartons in popularity in most markets (though plastic milk bottles are still out there–catch up milk companies!). Our exercised bodies are more often hydrated by sipping from reusable vessels these days…but we have so far to go. With the recent availability of 3-D printing, even more things will be made form plastic, right in our own homes.

The Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance working too free us from plastic pollution and its toxic impact. Plastic by itself is not inherently evil–but the disposable containers carelessly tossed after a single use are unnecessarily harmful. The PPC has added an “R” to the good old “Three R’s” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). They advocate also embracing Refuse, as in refuse to purchase items in disposable plastic containers, utensils, bags, straws, lids, cups, etc. There are biodegradable alternatives to every one of these items. The organization is working on many fronts to help us to “Think beyond plastic.” Explore their website, volunteer, and find ways to invigorate the action waiting to be taken in your home, school, workplace, town, and nation. There are projects in the United Arab Emirates and South American countries as well as campus-based initiatives, town projects, and lots of great ideas closer to home to reduce our dependence on this hazardous pollutant. Sure, surgical tubing and machinery parts and laboratory fixtures and rocket pieces may need to be plastic for some of its wondrous malleability…but so little else needs to be–especially not the stuff we throw away and are using to inadvertently bury ourselves.

One response to this post.

  1. Hear, hear!! This is exactly why I carry around a fabric tote in my bag, to prevent having to take a plastic one at every store, street vendor, etc. that I patronize. It truly only takes a tiny bit of consciousness to cut down on plastic “waste”.

    Reply

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