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Plastic Free July, Day 1: Find your Motivation!

plastic utensils

(Back to the challenge summary)

Why reduce disposable plastics in our daily life?

Our Plastic Free July Challenge 2018, co-written by Fillgood and Zero Waste California, starts today: buckle up!

If you’re reading this blog post, it means that you’re already motivated to be part of the solution. Or maybe you are just curious to understand why disposable plastics are a serious threat to our environment and our health.

“Deplastifying” our lives means changing lots of small habits. In general people don’t like change, unless they have a strong motivation:

  • Plastics have a negative impact on me and my family’s health
  • Plastics are killing millions of animals every year
  • Plastics are piling up in the environment: that’s not the world I want to leave to my children
  • Reducing disposable plastics is a source of happiness because I’m doing something good for the planet and for my community
  • I’m part of a community of like-minded people, who really care about the environment
  • I’m free from mass consumption and my house looks beautiful without all these plastics.

These are all the reasons why Fillgood and Zero Waste California were born. By sharing all these facts about plastics we want to give you the MOTIVATION to quit on disposable plastics and follow our challenge for the whole month!


One important thing to remember: this is not about perfection. You won’t be plastic free by the end of the month and it’s ok. But please remember that every action counts, because it’s another step in the right direction, because you’re showing others that you care and you’re telling them they can do it too!

 

PLASTIC PRODUCTION : THE WORLD IS DROWNING IN PLASTIC

world plastic production 

-We have become addicted to plastic, from straws to water bottles, plastic has taken over our lives.

-500 million drinking straws are produced every day in the US alone. 5 trillion plastic bags are produced yearly worldwide.

-50% of the plastic produced every year is used to make single use plastic items. They are used once and then discarded in landfills and oceans where they will stay forever.

-At today’s trend, plastic production is expected to almost triple by 2050. So is plastic pollution.

-Unless it was burned, every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists.

 

 

PLASTIC IS NOT RECYCLED, PLASTIC IS NOT BIODEGRADABLE

plastic pollution landfills(Photo credit: Plastic Pollution Coalition)

-91% of plastic isn't recycled

-Plastic doesn’t decompose: it breaks down in smaller and smaller pieces. Scientists talk about micro-plastics and now even nano-plastics (1 nanometer = 0.000000001 meter)

-Recycling: China used to be the “world’s garbage dump”, by importing about half of the globe’s plastics and paper products. They put an end to this in January 2018; plastic waste is now piling up in western countries and there’s no sustainable solution to this, only landfills or burning.

VIDEO: Welcome to New Zealand's massive plastic wasteland

new zealand plastic waste

 

IMPACT OF PLASTIC POLLUTION IN THE OCEAN

ocean plastic pollution

-Over 90% of all ocean garbage is made up of plastic.

-Over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic pollution, usually from ingesting it. From the tiniest plankton to the largest whales, plastics impact nearly 700 species in our ocean.

-8 million tons of plastic are discarded in the ocean every year, that’s equivalent to one garbage truck every minute of every day for an entire year.

-It’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

 

 

 IMPACT ON HUMAN HEALTH

PLASTIC IMPACT ON HUMAN HEALTH

(Photo credit: Plastic Pollution Coalition) 

-Plastic packagings are leaching toxic chemicals (like BPA and other additives) into food and our bodies.

-Many recent studies show that micro-plastics have made their way into marine and freshwater species, both wild caught and farmed.

-Enough research has been done now to show that the fish and shellfish we enjoy are suffering from the omnipresence of plastic pollution.

-Pollutants that wash off the land and into our seas, like heavy metals, phthalates and pesticides, are absorbed by micro-plastics.

Source: National Geographic, June 2018 

 

More helpful links to further illustrate this plastic epidemic. 

https://plasticoceans.org/

https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/

https://oceanconservancy.org/

http://plastic-pollution.org/

http://www.noaa.gov/resource-collections/ocean-pollution

https://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/harmful-effects-of-plastic-ze0z1205zsch

https://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/

https://www.surfrider.org/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/plastic-not-so-fantastic/

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/plastic-planet-waste-pollution-trash-crisis/

 

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