It is preferable not to use them at all, but if you really don’t have a choice, you can at least make sure that you recycle plastic bottles after use.
Why? Because if you don’t, one of two things will happen:
- That piece of plastic that you just threw away may get into the ocean and be swallowed by a poor marine animal, who thus will suffer a painful and unnecessary death.
- You may unwillingly swallow pieces of it, possibly coming from the same source mentioned above.
Plastic in the oceans kills approximately 100 million marine animals every year.
They either swallow it and choke on it, or they get trapped or tangled in certain objects such as nets and plastic bags.
As for the second case, plastic decomposes into microplastics under the action of environmental factors. Marine animals eat these particles. We eat marine animals. And if we don’t, other animals eat marine animals, or just any random piece of plastic that gets around them, so it will, eventually, find it’s way back to us.
After I started recycling plastic – everything, from bottles to bags and wrappings – my first thought after the first few weeks was “Man, this thing is everywhere!”. In your bathroom (soap and shampoo bottles, toothbrushes), in your kitchen (cleaning products, kitchen appliances and containers), in your fridge (plastic bags and bottles, casseroles), in your wardrobe (sunglasses, coat hangers, jewelry pieces and makeup products) in your backpack (snack packages, school supplies), in the supermarket (shopping bags, all sorts of plastic wraps and packaging) – seems almost like everything around us has plastic in it.
That is because plastic is cheap, easy to make and very handy for daily use. The problem is, it takes around 500 to 1000 years for a plastic bottle to decompose – which means that, after its fabrication and disposal, it’ll be around for a long time. And do you know where does the plastic that you throw away go?
- 9% of the world’s plastic is recycled. Only 9%.
- The other 91% ends up in the oceans or in landfills. Approximately 8.000.000 tons of plastic per year end up in the oceans. Yangtze river in China alone carries 1.5m tons a year.
Check out Kurzgesagt’s video for more detailed info regarding this matter. This one from TedEd is also really cool and informative.
The thing is, recycling plastic is so simple.
All that I did, apart from trying to avoid using plastic overall, is having a separate trash bin for all the plastic in my house (actually, I didn’t even buy another trash bin, I am currently just using separate garbage bags, for both paper and plastic – cheap and easy). Every time I want to throw something to trash, I only check to see if it is recyclable, and then, instead of throwing it away with everything else, I take two extra steps across the room and place it in the corresponding garbage bag. And whenever that fills up, I take it to the closest recycling container in my neighborhood, and that’s it!
If you were about to say that there are no such facilities in your neighborhood, stay tuned because I am preparing a post about such places in Bucharest, Romania. And if you do not live in this city, don’t panic! I am sure Mr. Google is able to provide you with a ton of information regarding this matter. All you need to do is to be interested and type a few words in the search bar.
Here is another article that I have written, SAVE THE PLANET: REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES. Here I provide some tips on how to reduce plastic usage in your day to day life.
I hope that after reading this post and watching the videos you will realize how serious the problem of plastic pollution is. But the most important thing is not to just realize it, but also to take action. Because small actions lead to big results, and we are doing this for the sake of our planet and our health. 🙂
These 5 Marine Animals Are Dying Because of Our Plastic Trash… Here’s How We Can Help
Pictures: Google Images
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