Every single piece of plastic EVER made still exists today. Most of us recycle plastic, but the percentage of plastic that can be recycled is tiny compared to the amount we produce and dispose of.
Think about it.
I never really did properly and somehow, like many of us, I have been looking the other way.
Until I have come to realize in the past few years that there is literally nowhere else to look because everywhere I look there is plastic, in copious amounts.
Tons of plastic items pass our hands daily, plastic ziplock bags, snack boxes, hair brushes, tooth brushes, straws, plastic cups and dishes at Starbucks and similar, pens, personal hygiene products, lotions, combs and brushes, packaging, toys, gym equipment, shoes (hello flip flops and crocs). Not to even talk about the computer and car industries.
The other day I was unwrapping a cheap Ikea photo frame. Not only the cost is so low that it I had to wonder how much are the people fabricating these really making, but I had to count as unwrapping it meant pealing off 4 layers of plastic. Plastic wrapper, plastic covers on both sides of the (now plastic) glass.
When we moved house last year the packing and unpacking was brutal in every sense. Not least because of the amount of plastic, bags, wrapping papers that us as well as the moving company used. It made me sick and I now wonder whether we had a choice.
It is everywhere in unimaginable amounts. It is unstoppable, it goes unseen. It is killing us.
Accordingly to green peace, Coca-Cola increased its production of plastic bottles by a billion last year. Seriously? In 2016? Read more here.
What the hell are we doing? Let us all stop and think one moment.
What are we doing to this planet? What are our children inheriting? What have we done to their planet? How come useless plastic is not banned? What are the costs of this in the long run? I get very well why governments are not trying harder, the weight of the oil lobbies putting their foot down et all, but can it really be that us, "everyday people", cannot do anything about it?
Will we google what happens next once our whole planet will be clogged with plastic along with our bodies?
Because, yes, that is the scariest part of all. We are eating it. It is in us. Pollution and poisoning know no border and know no classes. First or third world, wealthy or poor, well educated or an-alphabet, city or country side residents, we are all in it together and exposed to the same danger caused by the idiocy that has made us look the other way all along.
In general, most of us are aware that it is better to choose reusable products over disposable. We know that some materials never decompose. We might even know that the average individual on the planet produces between 500 and 700 kg of garbage annually. But what do we really know about plastic?
“In the next hour, Americans will use and throw away approximately 2,500,000 million plastic bottles. Of those 2.5 million bottles, every one will still exist a thousand years from now.” – Intent Blog
“Plastic is forever. Petroleum-based plastics like PET do not decompose in the same manner that organic material does. Unlike wood, grass and food scraps, these plastics are unrecognizable to the organisms that normally break organic matter down and thus do not biodegrade. Instead, these plastics will often undergo a process called photo degradation, which is essentially sunlight breaking the plastic into tons of tiny pieces over time. Even still, landfill plastic is not afforded much sunlight and thus does not get much opportunity to photodegrade.
Plastic floating in the ocean has a much greater exposure to sunlight and it just so happens that plastic is particularly good at making its way to the ocean. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, for instance, is a floating mass of plastic three times the size of Germany. It is the largest garbage site in the world, located just off the coast of California, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one. In the ocean, the plastic can be exposed to enough sunlight to photodegrade in as little as a year. However, while photo degradation dissolves the trash from the larger perspective, the resulting tiny plastic particles are actually toxic chemicals such as BPA and PS oligomer that then make their way into the stomachs of sea and air animals, onto the shorelines, and into direct contact with humans. Roughly one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
Biodegradable plastic is an option, but one that is slowly gaining traction. The following infographic is a sobering account of the effect that our plastic consumption is having on the earth and includes 10 simple ways that can help decreasing our plastic footprint today, to help minimize the harmful impact on tomorrow." (Source)
ps. Please print (on recycled paper) and hang in your kitchen.