Plastic Pollution

Ten years ago, or maybe twenty or fifty, it was very common for people to close their eyes to the pollution problems we have been creating around the world.

Did the problems start this year? No. 

But we cannot close our eyes anymore. 

Plastics are dominating our world and ruining it. It’s no longer possible to ignore. Laws are changing from Vancouver to the EU to Australia. 

What are we talking about? According to National Geographic, Ocean Crusaders and The Pacific Institute, there are over 5.25 TRILLION pieces of plastic debris in the ocean.

Approximately 400,000 marine animals die each year from plastic pollution. Not the one you saw on Facebook that one time. Turtles, fish, whales, dolphins … all dying because of our over-reliance on plastic products.

Plastic Bag Bans are a start. Bangladesh banned them in 2002. With no offense to Bangladesh, should they be leading the world environmental policy? Where are the countries who contribute in huge, ongoing ways? China, the US, Russia, Australia, Canada, the entire EU … 

Solving the Problem

Here’s the real issue: we don’t know how long it will take that piece of plastic to break down. 20 years? 200 years? 20,000 years? Estimates and science tells us that around 10,000 years for many plastics. This is beyond a recycling problem. 

We need to reduce our reliance, refuse plasticware when we can.

Almost 2/3 of the world’s fish contain traces of plastic in their system. You’re eating that! 

Your own body, right now, likely contains a much higher level of plastic than it should. In fact, a lot of current research on plastic indicates that many of our rising problems such as autism can likely be linked to the increase in pollutants in our food. We microwave food in plastic and it seeps into the food. We eat fish that contain microplastics. 

Did You Know

It takes 1800 gallons of water to produce the cotton used to make one pair of jeans. That’s just to grow the cotton! When you factor in the dying process, the initial machine wash and all the other manufacturing processes, it’s closer to 10,000 gallons of water. 

ONE PAIR OF JEANS

Thanksgiving dinner takes around 38,000 gallons of water to produce from start to finish. 

On average, Americans drink 50-100 gallons of water per year. The 10,000 from your single pair of jeans would give a single person clean water for 100 years. 

The More You Know About Plastic

Look, you know this is a problem. Look to the right. Pick ANY image and enlarge it. These aren’t setup images, they’re not Photoshopped or lies. 

We can argue all day about climate change being real or not. There are flat Earthers and climate deniers. But nobody argues that plastics are a good thing. It’s callous, insensitive and arrogant to think we can continue like we are. 

10 years ago I didn’t care myself. I would’ve called greenies “tree huggers” or some other name. 

When you open your eyes, you see clearly. We have a problem. Let’s work on solving it like adults.