WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH ALL OF THIS PLASTIC?!
Plastic is awesome. It makes our lives easier. If you dispose of it appropriately and recycle it, is not so much of a problem to our environment. However, if you don’t recycle it, it breaks down into microplastics. Microplastics are glass like, shards of plastic. These are no longer than 5mm in length. You see, plastic is not biodegradable, so this is the behavior we’d expect to see. This all comes from common items such as plastic bags, bottles and straws. They can be found in our oceans, drinking water, and bodies of marine animals. You can see how this problem is exacerbated in coastal communities as it’s easy for these items to find there way across our beaches and into the water there. It has been a huge wake up call as of late that plastics pollute our environment like a disease. It’s plaguing our environment. Say NO to plastic use!
Just to give you an example, plastic straws are used for an about 20 minutes, yet stay around in our environment for 600 years. In the US, we use 500 million plastic straws a day. Think about the implications at the coast. Many of these end up in our ocean. If you think a plastic straw is bad, a plastic bag takes 1000 years to break down.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
There are many businesses within our OBX community that have stopped using plastic bags and restaurants that have stopped offering plastic straws with their drinks. If they do offer straws, the switch is being made to paper straws.
If you want to help, stop using plastic straws and plastic bags! Use a reusable mug or bottle for your beverages. Use reusable bags and containers for your food. Avoid using plasticware. Say no to plastic use!
THINK ABOUT THIS…
It’s estimated that there’s 9 billion tons of plastic produced and 8 billion in plastic waste that ends up in our oceans since 1950. Of this, only 9 to 12 percent has been recycled.
In the US, we throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags every year. Remember that 1 plastic bag takes 1000 years to degrade. These bags (and other plastic) float on the surface of our oceans and get mistaken for food by many marine animals.
Scientists predict that by the year 2050, plastic will outweigh fish in our oceans pound for pound.
More and more medical studies are showing that exposure to plastics and polystyrene causes for serious health risks. As you can understand, if our marine life is ingesting these plastics and you’re ingesting the marine life…do the math.
CALL TO ACTION
Change the way we think about plastic. Simple as that.
Instead of thinking: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Think: REFUSE, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Say NO to plastic use. So instead of getting annoyed at the beach when the store hands you a paper bag, or no bag at all, SAY THANK YOU! The same deal with plastic straws. It’s easier to not have to deal with that plastic, than to have to worry about where it’s ultimately ending up.