Single-Use Plastic - Beyond the Hype

Single-Use Plastics are defined as (disposable) plastics that are only used once before they are thrown away or recycled such as plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles, and most food packaging*.

We produce 150 million tons of disposable (non-biodegradable) plastic per year which ends up going directly into landfills and our oceans. Plastics do eventually breakdown over time, but only into tiny microplastics that end up in our food and water supply, and by no surprise, into our bodies. This can present a whole host of issues to the endocrine (hormonal) system causing ailments such as cancer, infertility, birth defects, and so much more. 

There has been a lot of hype lately about using straws and their detriment to turtles specifically. While I support any notion that promotes sustainability and less plastic usage, the straws are just a small piece of a very large, very convoluted puzzle. Our oceans, our forests, our small local conservations, our rainwater, every piece of our eco-system is being touched by plastic due to our frivolous use of man-made plastic that never truly breaks down. 

What kind of world are we creating/leaving for future generations? What kind of world do we want to create for them?

We are at a turning point now where we can choose what to do next. We can choose to use less plastic, we can choose to use more sustainable options, we can choose to bring our own mugs and be mindful about where our waste goes. 

Now is the time to choose to use better! 

5 ways to use less plastic: 

1. Bring your own reusable bag when shopping, especially at the grocery store

2. Bring your own mug to get coffee

3. Use stainless steel, glass or straws made out of biodegradable material 

4. Cook more at home. This reduces the use of single use take out containers and plastics. If you would like to eat out, try eating at the restaurant to reduce the use of containers

5. Try buying some of your food in bulk and bring your own containers. Grocery stores who offer this service will weigh your container before you put your food in them to remove the cost of the container

Switching to a less-plastic lifestyle takes some time. It is best to try it step by step instead of cold turkey. 

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