How Can I Reduce Plastic Pollution Starting Today

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The question of how can I reduce plastic pollution starting today has been gnawing at me ever since I saw something very disturbing on the internet. Recently, I watched videos of whales dying of starvation and toxicity because their stomachs were full of plastic garbage.

Some videos showed desperate but futile attempts to save whales that were suffering from this condition and some showed beached whales that were full of garbage – plastic garbage – that killed them.

The whales ate the plastic items floating in the water thinking they were food. These items do not break down into digestible nutrition. They just sit and accumulate in the whales’ stomachs until they cannot consume anything more. Their massive bodies are robbed of nutrition and ultimately die because of the human waste contaminating the ocean.

If whales are dying this way then so are other creatures that live in our oceans. When whales wash up on our beaches and regurgitate plastic waste from their over-stuffed bodies, it is a sickening display that we must act to correct this plastic pollution in our oceans and world.

Plastic Pollution In Our Oceans

Have you seen videos filmed by divers around the world that show the plastic floating in the water? There are huge islands of plastic waste floating in the oceans! The site of this is unbelievable yet sadly, it is true. Have you ever heard of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Click on the link to learn more.

How can we stop plastic pollution in the ocean?

This video is only one story of this serious condition of plastic pollution in our oceans:

My Plastic Recycling Gets Recycled, Right?

Well, you may think that if you toss your plastic waste into the recycle bin and it’s hauled off every week, you are doing all that you can. That’s not the case anymore since China and other countries are refusing to accept our recycled plastic trash. This is a recent development that is causing a tremendous backlog of plastic and paper trash – mountains of it. Recycling companies in the U.S. are stockpiling this trash in hopes that a new solution will arise or that China will soon lift its ban.

Here’s an article that explains more about the recycling catastrophe.  New York Times, May 2018

The previous system was grossly flawed as it was since a by-product of the inefficiency of what was happening is what has caused our “islands of trash” in our oceans around the globe. The magnitude of the collection of trash in the oceans is staggering and will take a concerted effort on the part of many to correct. The cleanup will take years, perhaps decades.

How can we stop plastic pollution in the ocean is to start a “reduce plastic campaign” of your own. If we consciously make an effort to not keep adding to the problem, we can make a humanitarian effort to contribute to the solution.

How can I reduce my plastic footprint?

Sure, I am only one person out of 7 billion living on our planet right now so what impact can I have? But if I do just a little bit to reduce my plastic footprint, then I am helping the environment and all things living in it.

If we all do a little something, maybe one small thing, that’s a start toward addressing a global problem. It just takes giving some thought to what you are buying and using in your home and what you can substitute for plastic.

I will include links below to some really good ideas that others have posted on how we can reduce our plastic footprint. You might say, like I did, “Wow! I never thought of that”! like plastic hangers, for instance, or plastic toothbrushes or plastic razors. All of these items do not biodegrade, so when you discard these indestructible little things, they wind up somewhere in our oceans or in a landfill and last forever.

8 Ways That We Will Reduce Our Plastic Footprint Reduce Plastic Pollution

  1. Have you noticed when you are shopping in the supermarket how just about everything is packaged in plastic? Each and every separate produce item is supposed to be placed in its own plastic bag before bringing to the checkout stand? How can I help to reduce my plastic footprint? Well, I am going to use cotton mesh bags instead such as the ones pictured here. You can get yours at Amazon by clicking this link:
    Cotton Mesh Produce Bags

2. Plastic water bottles are so popular with everyone nowadays as we are conscientious about drinking “pure” water. The trouble is that these plastic water bottles are a huge plastic contamination to our planet. What can we do to reduce plastic usage? We have decided to buy a water purifying filter that will sit on our kitchen counter and then use stainless steel water bottles to carry with us. We decided on this water filter …….

……and these water bottles. Get yours by clicking on the images.                       

3. Plastic straws have become a huge factor in plastic contamination.  These placards that we saw at breakfast the other morning tell us “The United States uses over 500 million plastic straws per day”. That is an astounding number! We were so glad to see this restaurant taking a stand on this issue and bringing it to the minds of their customers. Kudos to you, The Native Cafe!Skip The Plastic           No Straws

You may have seen the awful video of the straw jammed up in the sea turtle’s nose. There is another video of a plastic fork being removed from a sea turtle’s face. Horrible situations! You can search for them on YouTube.

How can we help to reduce plastic garbage in our oceans? We have purchased stainless steel straws that we carry with us and refuse to use plastic straws. More and more places are offering paper straws which are great because they are biodegradable. Additionally, we refuse plastic utensils and instead carry inexpensive metal utensils to keep on hand when we are out.

4. Many of our foods come in plastic packaging. When it is unavoidable, we will do our best to wash the packaging and re-use or re-purpose it rather than throwing it into the recycle bin. This is one way that we can reduce plastic contamination. For instance, bread bags can be washed and reused. They can also be carried to the grocery store when picking out produce instead of taking a new plastic bag.

5. Instead of using plastic containers to store our food at home, we have purchased glass containers and bowls. This habit to reduce our plastic footprint not only eliminates plastic, but glass is a safer container for our food in general. Plus, when reheating food in a microwave, I feel that it is so much safer in glass than to worry about plastic toxins getting into our food. Glass Food Storage Containers

6. Recently, I saw something on the internet which is an alternative to plastic wrap for storing food. I bought some packs of them and really like them. They do seal around bowls (glass, of course!), and they do wrap around food to carry in your lunch bags, snacks and for kids’ school lunches. This is what I found. Click here to get yours!

7. Whenever I do have plastic bags to dispose of, I always knot the bag at least once. By doing this, the bag is less likely to be caught up by the wind than if the bag was able to float like a kite. Oftentimes, I would see plastic bags floating above cars on a highway ready to land who-knows-where. This could cause an accident if one lands on a windshield or distracts a driver enough to veer out of the lane. The bags could wind up landing in the water to harm fish and mammals or on land to harm land animals.

8. We enjoy drinking club soda (or seltzer water) which means we are buying liter-size plastic bottles. How can we reduce our plastic consumption? The solution for us is to buy a seltzer-making machine for our kitchen. There are several to pick from, and they are not very expensive. We will probably get one like this: Seltzer Making Machine

  1. The research on this topic is exhaustive as many people and groups around the world are pooling their knowledge and coming up with ideas on how to correct this situation. It cannot be ignored! Some reports tell us that if we don’t address plastic pollution in our oceans now, by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than there are fish!

  2. This is an alarming statement because of many factors: fish is a food staple for most of the world population; the plastic over time breaks down into smaller and smaller particles but is, nevertheless, still plastic. Fish and all sea life either eat or become attached to the plastic which either kills the fish, such as the whales mentioned above, or the fish is ultimately consumed by humans which then distributes the plastic toxicity into our bodies.

  3. This is actually happening right now but not on the scale of what is predicted for the future. Unless some drastic measures are taken to resolve this issue of how can we stop plastic pollution in the ocean, vital foods from the sea will be unsafe for human consumption.

  4. My part, and my family’s part is to be aware of the importance of using alternative items instead of plastic at every opportunity that comes our way. When shopping, I will be looking for packaging that is biodegradable instead of plastic. There are choices that we can make – not with everything but when there is a choice, if we all start to think about what goes into our grocery carts, we can make a difference.

  5. Reduce Plastic Waste Lear How To Reduce You Plastic Use

  6. Here are some other articles that are excellent reading about plastic pollution:

    1. Cut Plastic and Other Trash Out of Your Kitchen
    2. Plastic Pollution: One of Ocean Conservation’s Grand Challenges
    3. 10 Genius Tips for Reducing Your Plastic Footprint

    4. Ten Tips To Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

    5. 15 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Use – 4ocean

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