You might not think using plastic is a big deal. We'd agree with you if the use was limited to VERY occasionally. Unfortunately, many people use far too much plastic, and they use it in dangerous ways.
While we still don’t fully understand the full extent of plastic on our environment and our health, here are a few things we DO know.
PLASTIC IN OUR BODIES
We know our bodies absorb the chemicals used to create plastic, as a result, there is an endless potential of negative effects on our health. As the Daily Mail shared, a recent study by the University of Exeter found that these chemicals affect reproductive health and development, and increase the risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes*.
According to Healthline, “Due to its estrogen-like shape, BPA can bind to estrogen receptors and influence bodily processes, such as growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy levels and reproduction.” Although some manufacturers now use other chemicals in place of BPA’s, there is no evidence that these replacement chemicals are any less toxic.
PLASTIC IN THE ENVIRONMENT
Despite the impression that many plastics are recyclable, National Geographic recently reported that over 90% of plastic in the U.S. is never recycled.
Plastic does not break down like other recyclable materials when it reaches the garbage dump. It lives on, and the chemicals that make up plastic leech into the earth and further contaminate our groundwater. Plastic that does not reach the landfill is unleashed on the environment with dire consequences. Animals often suffer as they ingest plastic or get physically trapped by it, and, as we’ve seen in recent news, the plastic floating around our oceans is piling up.
The facts about plastic may be scary, but the good news is that cutting your plastic use can be easy! Here are 4 simple ways to get you started… we’re betting you are doing at least one of these already!
Cloth shopping bags are not just for groceries! Keep a few reusable bags in your car and start using them for all of your purchases. Whether you’re picking up a bottle of wine for dinner or picking up a gift for a birthday party, every time you bring your own bag you send a message that plastic bags are not necessary.
Plastic isn’t just something we find in packaging, its also used in products such as facial cleansers and toothpaste. The good news is that there are many accessible small shops that are providing plastic-free alternatives, and you can even DIY some of these products!
Cutting your plastic use doesn’t have to feel like a daunting task. Choose just one or two of these simple ideas and start today! Share your journey on Instagram with #plasticisbad.
Want to take it further?
Here are some other ways to cut plastic from your life:
Want to know more about the effects of plastic?
Sources and further reading on the effects of plastic: