From land animals to the coral reef and marine life, I think of natural beauty and a long line of evolution. Our world is not simple, it holds various diverse ecosystems with many unique living beings, all working together in a big circle of life. We have discovered over 1.6 million different species and there are approximately 8.7 million more left to discover. That said, the “human” circle of life is smothering all other types of life. We produce so many different kinds of pollution that don’t only affect us but also affect the 10 million species with whom we share our home. One of the worst things for our world's species is plastic pollution.
My boss had me watch a very interesting video called "The Story of Bottled Water", you can watch it here, too
This video is about how our consumption of plastic is damaging our world. I would drink four to six disposable plastic water bottles each day and I felt very embarrassed for not really understanding my impact. But he assured me that it was okay and try not to feel that way; that I was just misinformed. That made me look at my own life and I did some of my own research.
Reports say that ten percent of plastic made ends up in the ocean
Plastic pollution is one of the greatest widespread issues right now affecting our wildlife and marine life. There is so much plastic, it's starting to collect up in floating islands. There are five major plastic islands. One is twelve feet thick and more than double the size of Texas, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). You can just tell how bad it is for our marine buddies in the oceans.
It has not only started to affect marine life, it’s affecting human health as well
We eat, on average, of 45 thousand microplastic particles each year; we also inhale upwards of 70 thousand. Plastic is literally everywhere and the amounts just keep piling up. Plastic is pollution from the start of its manufacturing. Is it worth it for just a bottle of water that you will consume in under a minute? All of the manufacturing for that tiny plastic bottle contributes significantly to climate change. Most water bottle production uses polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is very dangerous to our health, it may contribute to cancer development and many more horrendous diseases. It requires a giant amount of fossil fuel to produce. Water bottle production alone uses 17 million barrels of oil annually. About the amount to fill one million cars for the year. I can’t believe we fought wars over oil. Such a big loss for something that will be floating around in the ocean or sitting in the landfill. If we all stopped using disposable plastic that oil could go to a better option where it benefits the environment.
My major concerns were, are we at a point of no return from the damages we’ve caused and if not, how will we clean up all the plastic?
Like I said before there are thousands of microplastics in our own bodies. How would we ever be able to clean up the world of all plastics? Scientists are trying to figure out how to do that very thing using special technologies. Meanwhile we all can do our part to use less plastic and use more environmentally-friendly products such as a reusable water bottle or try buying organically. I’ve been using a reusable water bottle for two weeks and I’m not only saving money, I am making a big improvement with my plastic consumption. I would have used over 84 disposable plastic bottles within the two weeks of not having it. Recycling works but the world is not a happy place, plastic is sold and bought over and over and once it becomes something they can't use, it will either end up in the landfill/oceans or just incinerated releasing yet more types of dangerous pollutants such as dioxins and mercury.
The only reason for disposable plastics is for convenience and they all come with a cost
Plastic overall is a material that has many uses big and small so I believe it will always be a part of our lives but we need to start using alternative materials like glass or metal for liquids and stop using plastic solo cups and single-use bottles. There are many different alternatives that might be a little more expensive at first but will be worth it in the long run and we could make those options more popular and ultimately drive the price down. If we all do our part and try a little at a time, eventually you have a somewhat plastic-free life. It can't be totally free of plastic because plastic is used in very important things such as ventilators, but if we cut out more of the unnecessary plastics we all will be healthier and I'm sure our marine buddies would too!