From ending up in landfills to polluting our beautiful oceans, plastic harms the environment in more ways than we can imagine, but fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to reduce plastic waste.
How Does Plastic Harm the Environment
Plastic Harms More than Just People
Sure, when refilled or in contact with heat, toxins can leach into the contents of your plastic water bottle and harm you, but did you know plastic also harms others in the process?
Plastic waste has left no corner untouched. Remote beaches, “clean” islands, and even the middle of the sea, thousands of kilometers away from shore have experienced their fair share of plastic waste.Plastic trash
is found in over 90% of the world’s sea birds, in the stomachs of more than half of the world’s sea turtles, and even contributes to whales unfortunately choking to death.
Not all Plastic Gets Recycled
We may think we’re doing enough for the environment by simply tossing our single-use plastic bottles into the recycling bin instead of the waste bin, but what we are not all aware of is the fact that not all types of plastic are recyclable.
To make matters worse, even the plastic that is recyclable doesn’t always get recycled. It ends up in landfills, on the shore, and significantly harms marine life and us.
The most recyclable plastics include:
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), which is commonly found in water bottles
- High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
- Polypropylene (PP)
Less recyclable plastics include:
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
- Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
- Polystyrene (PS)
Some plastics to avoid recycling are
- Cling film
- Composite plastic
- Plastic-coated wrapping paper
It Causes Toxic Pollutants
Plastic is harmful to all humans, whether they intentionally use it or not. It is also harmful to animals and plants. Oftentimes, solid waste is burnt, and if it includes plastic, toxic gases are released into the atmosphere, polluting the air, and contributing to climate change.
How to Reduce Plastic
As you can see, plastic waste isn’t a matter that should be taken lightly. Here are some things that can be done to reduce plastic.
Avoid Plastic Straws
Many restaurants and cafes have adopted sustainable alternatives for plastic straws; you should too. The next time you reach for a plastic straw, think of the poor turtles.
Shop at a Farmers’ Market
By buying your groceries from a nearby farmers’ market, you not only support local, but you can rest assured knowing there’s less fuel, plastic waste, and packaging used in the process of transporting the goods to your city. Take it one step further by bringing your own reusable bags!
Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle
The easiest way to contribute to plastic waste is by drinking from single-use plastic bottles. Do yourself, the environment, and your bank account a favor by investing in a reusable water bottle.
colorful stainless steel bottles keep your beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot for 12. So, whether you’re drinking water, coffee, or juice, you’ll have the ideal temperature and the best experience by your side to help you never reach for a plastic bottle again!
Unfortunately, plastic waste and pollution are problems much bigger than you or I can tackle, but by each doing their part, we can help significantly reduce plastic waste and make the environment safer for all humans, animals, and plant life.