Beat Plastic Pollution
June not only means the start of summer, it is also a huge month for the Earth with World Environment Day on June 5th and World Oceans Day on June 8th. The theme for this year’s events is Beat Plastic Pollution, so this June is a month set aside by many around the world to clean up local beaches or pledge to go plastic free. But why is this so important?
Well, according to a study done at Plymouth University, over one million marine mammals are killed every year from plastic pollution - and that doesn’t even include sea turtles (of which upwards of a thousand die a year). It’s believed that humans put out 8 million metric tons of waste into the ocean every year. 8 MILLION TONS EVERY YEAR! That’s honestly insane to me and I think it’s time to stop it.
Since the 1950s plastic has become more and more readily available and, therefore, it has become more and more of a disposable item. According to the World Environment Day website, “the most common single-use plastics found in the environment are, in order of magnitude, cigarette butts, plastic drinking bottles, plastic bottle caps, food wrappers, plastic grocery bags, plastic lids, straws and stirrers, other types of plastic bags, and foam take-away containers. These are the waste products of a throwaway culture that treats plastic as a disposable material rather than a valuable resource to be harnessed.” I don’t know about you, but to me these items all seem to be fairly easy to cut out of our lives. Almost all of these items can be replaced with reusable versions! When I look at statistics like this I see no excuse for the plastic in our oceans. However, it’s harder than it looks.
Plastic is everywhere in our lives, it’s hard to avoid it. We’re often given plastic straws, paper napkins, or disposable plates and cups without realizing it until it’s too late. Plastic is convenient so it’s used far more often than it should.
So what can we do to stop this pollution? Try saying no to single use plastic for a whole day, no need to commit to going zero waste, just try it for one day. I’ve decided to view this as a sort of Meatless Monday situation; I’ve decided that every Wednesday I will commit to trying my best to go waste-free for the entire day. It’s hard to make a huge lifestyle switch such as going zero waste, but one day a week seems doable. Join me in Waste-less Wednesdays (or any other day of your choice) and encourage your friends and family to do the same! If we all make small changes we can help decrease the demand for plastic one day at a time!
P.S. make sure to follow me on instagram (@thedotblog) for more zero waste ideas, this week I’ll be posting about a lot of companies who are helping keep plastic pollution out of our oceans and how you can support them!
Also consider signing up for my newsletter where I’ll be sending you zero waste tips and tricks, as well as more information on World Oceans Day straight to your inbox!