The Problem of Plastics
Written on: September 30, 2021
As a requirement of our participation in the Laudato Si Action Platform, we were asked to choose a focus for the 7-Year journey to integral ecology. We have selected the “Problem of Plastics” as our focus- although we remain committed to most of the other issues blocking the way to integral ecology!
We will be sharing educational resources about plastics and hope you will share what you learn with us! Simply use the comment section below to share a video link, the title of a book, movie, or article, or whatever else you find that would be helpful to all of us taking this journey.
We are not the experts, but working together we can all gain expertise in the PROBLEM OF PLASTICS!
Let’s start with six things we can do (and feel no pain!)
- Give up plastic bags. Take your own reusable ones to the store. A trillion plastic shopping bags are used worldwide every year, and 100 billion in the United States alone—that’s almost one per American per day. The average Dane, in contrast, goes through four single-use bags per year. Denmark passed the first bag tax in 1993.
- Skip straws. Unless you have medical needs, and even then you could use paper ones. Americans toss 500 million plastic straws every day, or about 1.5 per person.
- Pass up plastic bottles. Invest in a refillable water bottle. Some come with filters if you’re worried about water quality. A handful of cities, including Bundanoon, Australia, and San Francisco, have banned or partially banned bottled water. But around the world, nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute.
- Avoid plastic packaging. Buy bar soap instead of liquid. Buy in bulk. Avoid produce sheathed in plastic. And while you’re at it, give up plastic plates and cups. The French are (partially) banning the stuff.
- Recycle what you can. Even in rich countries, recycling rates are low. Globally, 18 percent of all plastic is recycled. Europe manages 30 percent, China 25—the United States only 9.
- Don’t litter. The Ocean Conservancy has run beach cleanups for 30 years. Of the top 10 types of trash they find, the only nonplastic item is glass bottles. Worldwide, 73 percent of beach litter is plastic: cigarette butts (the filters), bottles and caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, polystyrene containers. In 2016 the conservancy collected 9,200 tons of trash in 112 countries—around a thousandth of what enters the ocean each year.
The above suggestions came from Planet or Plastic? a multiyear effort by National Geographic to raise awareness about the global plastic waste crisis. Learn what you can do to reduce your own single-use plastics, and take your pledge.
Video link : Recycling revolutionary shows how you can turn old clothes into kitchen tiles | Australian Story
#BreakFreeFromPlastic is an international movement and on March 24, 2021 there was a Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act introduced in Congress. The act will build on statewide laws across the country and outline plastic reduction strategies covering everything from plastic production, taking the burden of plastic waste off of frontline communities and municipalities.
Click for more info regarding the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act