Every week this fall, I’m going to make it my goal to do something great—not just for mankind, but for the planet Earth. At the beginning of each week, I’m going to share my goals with you (check out my Instagram stories every Monday). This week, I’m going to try to go plastic free for seven days. This will be a difficult challenge, but I am going to try it so that I can reduce the amount of plastic we use as a family.
I had no idea how prevalent plastic is in our family’s day to day life. We use plastic from the moment we wake up in the morning until we go to bed every night. It is literally everywhere! Every morning, I pour myself and our family water from a plastic jug. I brush my teeth with a plastic toothbrush. I open up a plastic tube with my facial wash. I pack my kids’ lunches in plastic resealable bags. Even their lunch bags are made with some high tech plastic material. The shopping bags I get at the grocery store are plastic. All of my health and beauty products come in plastic packaging. The straws I use to drink my beverages is made of plastic. Even my dental floss is made of plastic. I seriously had no idea how much plastic is in our daily lives.
Here are 7 Reasons I’m going Plastic-Free
- Plastic can be very harmful to human health. There are some chemicals from the plastic bags which can disrupt the normal functioning of hormones in the body. Most plastic fragments in the oceans like plastic bags have some pollutants such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) together with PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) which are hormone disrupting.
- Plastic can be harmful to wildlife and marine life. Birds, animals and marine life such as sea turtles and fish often mistake a plastic bag and other plastic materials for food and consume them. What happens once they consume these plastic materials is that their digestive system gets congested leading to the development of health infections and death when there is suffocation.
- Plastic bags do not degrade. In truth, petroleum based plastic bags never degrade. Instead of the plastic degrading, it is broken down into small tiny pieces which are swept down and end up in the oceans which are then consumed by wildlife.
- Plastic bags do not only pollute our water but also our land. Plastic bags are usually lightweight and as such, they can travel very long distances by either water or wind. Wind blows these plastic bags and trashes a whole area. These litters gets caught up in between trees, fences and floats in water bodies thus moving to the world’s oceans.
- Bans should be adopted because they are greatly effective at reducing plastic big waste. China banned plastic bags and four years later, the amount of plastic bags thrown into the environment had reduced by 40 billion. If the US bans plastic bags, there would be fewer landfills.
- Plastic bags are costly to pay for and to clean up after. While we may not pay for plastic bags directly when we go shopping, they are anything but “free.” Plastic bags cost about 3-5 cents each, and that cost is then incorporated into prices of the items sold at stores. The cost of plastic bag cleanup is about 17 cents per bag, and on average, taxpayers end up paying about $88 per year just on plastic bag waste.
- Plastic bags are not easy to recycle. As plastic bags tend to get caught in recycling machinery, most recycling facilities do not have the capacity to recycle plastic bags and therefore do not accept them. As a result, the actual recycling rate for plastic bags is about 5%.
Essential Plastic Items and how I plan to replace them as much as possible.
- I’ll be using my iPhone and Apple Pay for all my purchases this week
Gym Key Card
- I’ll be using the Key Ring App on my iPhone to check into my gym & dance studio
Essential Plastic Items that are unavoidable at times, but I will try to use less
- Cell Phone
- Remote Control for our television
Here are my Top 12 Items For Going Plastic Free
(also created on my Amazon page)