July is here and perhaps you have heard of the ‘Plastic Free July’ challenge.
Before delving into how we can avoid plastics as much as we can, let us take a moment to remember what they are and why we’re avoiding them in the first place.
Single-use plastic are used only once and then disposed of. Think plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles or even food packaging.
1. Plastic is actually made from fossil fuels – non-renewable energy resources that also pollute.
2. It has a huge carbon footprint for items that are single-use. The emissions from plastics in 2015 were equivalent to nearly 1.8 billion metric tons of CO2.
3. It makes zero sense to make a product that is used for a matter of seconds, out of a material that last pretty much forever.
5. It pollutes. Plastic is piled up in our waterways, our communities, drains with plastic bottles, wrappers, cutlery. Surely you’ve noticed.
6. Animals ingest it, potentially leading to the loss of their lives, a lot of which are marine creatures who have a significant role in the ocean ecosystem. It also gets wrapped around plants and trees, preventing it from growing properly
7. Some plastics cause hormone disruption and cancers. Ever seen the label ‘BPA Free’? – it’s because BPA – which is in many plastics – is a chemical that can leach from beverage or food containers posing heath risks.
8. It ends up in our food – especially our our fish and shellfish and then into us.
Hopefully this July is an opportunity to push yourself and realise how pervasive single-use plastic really is in our society is – the Plastic Free July Challenge.