Why You Need To Break Up With Plastic
Author: Rachel Date Posted:5 January 2023
IT'S TIME TO BREAK UP
New Year Resolutions date back over 4,000 years ago when the ancient Babylonians made pledges at the start of a new year. That’s a pretty entrenched tradition!
And why not? A new year is always a great time to take stock of what’s important. It’s also a great time to establish new habits.
So that’s why, I want your New Year's Resolution, to be to break up with plastic this year!
It's a toxic relationship, and it has to end. We know plastic is ubiquitous, and it's been there your whole life! We've all basked in the convenience of plastic. It's not easy. But we have to start somewhere...
At Reusable Planet, we're always offering advice on how to easily reduce your use of unnecessary plastic. But it always helps to remember the WHY.
Here's some of our top reasons WHY we do what we do at Reusable Planet, making it easy for you and your family to live more sustainbly and with less plastic.
STEP 1 - WHY
- Plastic is made using crude oil, a fossil fuel
- 10% of all oil extracted goes towards making plastic
- 40% of all plastic made is for packaging
- We're now producing around 300 million tonnes of plastic a year
- Australians create 660 thousand tonnes of plastic waste every year
- Plastic is produced with cancer-causing chemicals and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC - hormone disrupters)
- Plastic doesn’t biodegrade – it just breaks into smaller pieces called microplastics, which persist and accumulate in the environment
- 8 million tonnes of plastics are entering the ocean each year, killing marine life
- The most heavily plastic-polluted beach in the world is Henderson Island, an isolated and uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. Hundreds of manmade items wash up on the shore every day and it is home to around 40 million pieces of plastic
- Microplastic is found in all corners of the globe, from farming soil to pristine Canadian and Arctic rivers, in our rain and in the air we breathe
- Microplastics have been found in salt, beer, tap and bottled water, seafood, and in human blood and stool samples
- Humans are consuming an average of 5g of microplastics every week. That’s a credit card’s worth!
The affects of microplastics in the environment are just starting to be recognised and studied, along with the health implications on animals and humans. In fact, it was as recently as 2019 before the World Health Organisation called for more research into the potential impacts of microplastic pollution on our health.
You might be familiar with terms like “BPA free”, “phthalate free” or “food safe”. That’s because, as we learn more and more the damaging affects of some of these constituents in plastic, safety standards have to be updated to adapt.
But it’s a slow process.
Meanwhile, health implications include cancer, reproductive issues and developmental problems.
And that's why we need to break up with plastic this New Year!
We're not saying no plastic ever. But as famed Zero Waste Chef Anne-Marie Bonneau says:
"We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."
And as Chief Reuser Rachel says, "you gotta start somewhere."
So just pick one thing. A reusable water bottle? Aussies are sending over a billion plastic water bottles to landfill every year. So use jug water for office meetings and take your bottle with you out the door to your next meeting. Or maybe it's a reusable mug for your takeaway coffee, instead of a plastic-lined disposable cup with a plastic lid (a lid, by the way, likely made with a type of plastic that has no business passing hot liquid into a human - just sayin').
Here's a few more ideas.
They say it takes 21 days to change a habit. So there you go. You only have to think about it for 3 short weeks, and by the time February arrives, you're a reuser. You're reducing your plastic waste. You are - an Eco Warrior! And a New Year Resolution Smasher! Well done!
If this has inspired you to go break up with plastic, we'd love to hear from you in the comments below, or find us on our socials! :)
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All our blog articles written by Rachel or our Guest Bloggers are well researched by a real human person. We hope you have been informed, educated or entertained.
To read more eco living articles, head over to our main blog page.
If there is something you would like to see us write about, we’d love to hear from you! Send us an email or find us on our socials! We love spreading the message of reducing waste and the overuse of unnecessary plastic, so follow along and come be a change-maker with us!