Before You Eat Your Next Meal Straight Out Of Plastic Packaging, Think About The Environment
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To date, about 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been manufactured- most of which are basically disposable containers and packaging that “make life easy” and end up in landfills by the quintals.
Remember the feeling of warm, pristine golden sand under your feet? Now that feeling has been replaced by the cacophonous crunch of plastic bottles and food containers, wrappers, and trash bags. According to a leading environment news website, EcoWatch— we have produced more plastic over the last ten years than during the whole of the last century. The amount of plastic discarded every year by us would be enough to circle the earth four times. Think I’m exaggerating? Let me give you a list of things that contain plastic – some obvious, some not so. Shampoo bottles, cosmetic containers, traffic cones, kitchenware, countertops, carpets, coffee cups, straws, storage bags, shopping bags, shower caps, planes, cars, tennis racquets, heart stents, eyeglasses, and even workout clothes these days have plastic. In the last 50 years, global production and consumption of plastic has seen an explosive rise. In 2008, our global plastic consumption worldwide was an estimated 260 million tons. Approximately 299 million tons of plastic was being produced each year by 2013. The prediction is that by middle of the century, oceans will contain more plastic waste than fish! Worse still is the fact that the simplest form of plastic will take more than 400 years to degrade. The plastic your great grandfather must have used is still floating around somewhere. To date, about 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been manufactured- most of which are basically disposable containers and packaging that “make life easy” and end up in landfills by the quintals. So what’s the solution? Do we just wait for water bodies to choke, aquatic life to be depleted, and human life extinct?
The answer is an emphatic no.
In the words of a non-governmental environmental organization, Greenpeace, here are 7 ways you can help humanity salvage what is left by reducing plastic use:
1. Carry a reusable bottle
Carry a reusable bottle to cut your plastic use and save money too!
2. Say no to plastic straws
Next time you order a drink, say no to straws! You can also ask your local pub to stop adding straws to drinks as standard and offer paper straws to those who want one.
3. Take a reusable coffee cup
Carry a reusable cup with you, however “uncool” it may sound. 4. Say no to disposable cutlery It’s hard to foresee every chance you will end up having a meal (a surprise birthday party, work lunch, spontaneous coffee plans), so consider carrying a spoon or fork in your bag. 5. Avoid excessive food packaging Buy fresh fruit and vegetables. It is not only cheaper, but also more eco-friendly than pre-packaged alternatives.
6. Avoid microbeads
There are cosmetic products on the shelves that contain plastic in the form of microbeads (check your scrub now!), so make sure you check labels during your next beauty haul.
7. Carry a shopping bag
Many of us aren’t used to carrying an extra bag with us. What an inconvenience isn’t it? Realise what is at stake here (hint: your life) and start carrying a foldable carry bag wherever you go.
We as a society need to open our eyes and see that it’s fair to trade a little inconvenience in return for a clean, healthy future. So, before you eat your next meal straight out of a plastic package, or order in from a restaurant instead of cooking at home, think about the environment.