Plastic pollution poses many environmental, human health, and animal welfare issues. While plastic products offer us convenience at cheap prices, the long term consequences are proving to be expensive, toxic, and have placed humans in a difficult position environmentally.
It is important to understand a problem before lending solutions to address it. The problem with plastic pollution spans over a variety of levels, from business, to healthcare, to politics. Luckily, awareness about the plastic crisis occurring has steadily been rising. More than ever, consumers and environmental advocates have been speaking out about concerns regarding plastic pollution.
Here, you will find some essential and effective ways that you, too, can combat the global plastic crisis.
- Educate Others
Those around you may not be aware of the seriousness regarding plastic pollution. It is also likely that you forget the seriousness from time to time as well. Regardless, one of the best ways to combat any problem is via awareness.
It may help to show visuals of plastic pollution, or share statistics that showcase the importance of the issue. For example, it is estimated that roughly 8 million pieces of plastics enter the oceans each day. This number derives from the 320 million tonnes of plastic waste generated each year. Of this, 50% are single use plastic items, with a 9% recycle rate.
Statistics and new findings help to keep ourselves up to date and focused on the importance of ending plastic waste. It also helps others to generate a better perspective about just how much plastic is wasted each year.
- Get Involved
Lend your time to organizations, volunteer opportunities, and community events that are dedicated to reducing plastic waste. There are so many organizations out there who are providing resources for education opportunities, or who bring political awareness to important environmental issues.
Volunteering to lead or help create beach or park clean ups in your area is an excellent and effective way to spot-clean areas that may provide an easy pathway for plastics to enter waterways. It also is a great way to bring your friends or family along and share the experience with them.
If politics are more your style, becoming involved as a citizen speaker or advocate under political parties or environmental lobbyists might be a great option for you.
Donating to environmental relief funds or ocean conservation groups is another effective and useful way to combat plastic pollution.
- Cut Your Plastic Consumption
It should be noted that while plastic consumption and pollution is an incredibly difficult challenge, and the brunt of the blame should not be placed on consumers alone, there is a great impact we can personally have.
Plastics are an industrial and capitalistic feature. Plastics are cheap, durable, and can be used in countless ways, which is what makes companies choose plastics in the making of their products over other materials.
If you look around your home, grocery store, or restaurant, plastic is everywhere. It has become so meshed within our society, that it is no wonder how overlooked plastic pollution remained for so many years.
However, the awareness is rising. Consumers have very powerful market power. Since the environmental movement, we have already seen advancements in plastic free alternatives; metal straws, biodegradable serve ware, reusable bags, and more. These options reached the market solely due to public awareness, concern, and demand for greater environmental options.
Now, more than ever, consumers must cut their consumption of plastic. With the now wide and growing plastic alternatives, cutting plastic consumption where you can will be vital to controlling the plastic pandemic.
Switching to a bamboo toothbrush, refusing to buy plastic water bottles, or buying from plastic free makeup companies are all ways to do this. Be creative, do your research, and experiment with ways that you can reduce your plastic consumption.
Because, the most sustainable plastic, is the one that is never purchased or used in the first place.