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Your Plastic Is Killing Wildlife

Posted on March 6, 2016 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

The viral video of a sea turtle having a bloody plastic straw painfully extracted from its nostril is an image that should convince everyone on this planet to stop using plastic.

Sea turtles are one of thousands of land, sea and air species that are in the middle of a war against human pollution.

In fact, a new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, posted by Discover.com, stated,

“In three decades, the world’s oceans will contain more discarded plastic than fish when measured by weight,...Furthermore, plastic production is notoriously resource-intensive, and could consume 20 percent of all oil produced by 2050”

To add insult to injury, the nonprofit conservation organization, Keep America Beautiful, cited that,

“Americans produced 30 million tons of plastic products in 2009, only 2 million tons of which was recovered.”

These facts are probably no surprise to many, yet they still continue to rise.

A Circular Economy

Changing infrastructure is not easy and remains one of the many large obstacles in creating a more sustainable, pollution-free planet. One infrastructure change is being able to produce plastic products that are either recyclable, compostable or reusable from their inception.

Imagine if the word (and concept), “disposable” were one day treated as seriously as a racist rant. No longer would humans regard something like a plastic straw as a mindless convenience but rather a dangerous item that should immediately be eradicated.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation stands by this change stating that it, “has long supported the notion of a circular economy, an economic system that produces no waste, instead reducing resource consumption and finding innovative ways to reuse and recycle materials such as plastic.” (Discover)

500 Million Per Day

That straw in the sea turtle video was one of 500 million used and discarded across our globe every single day. What is so mind boggling about this statistic is that a plastic straw is used ONE TIME! As are many plastic bags and other plastic packaging materials.

“Most plastic packaging products are used only once before they are thrown away, resulting in annual economic losses of up to $120 billion.” (Discover)

Sea Turtle paper strawsFinding alternatives to plastic is much easier, affordable and more urgent than ever before. This includes things like compostable cold cups and lids with PLA (polylactic acid) straws which are made from corn and biodegrade in a much shorter time than conventional plastic straws (about 45 days compared to 200 years).

Another option is stainless steel which can be cleaned and reused, creating no waste. There are also biodegradable paper straws. All of these are excellent alternatives to plastic straws, one of the top ten debris items polluting our oceans, beaches and sea creatures.

A Plastic Revolution

Today, some are calling for a political revolution which is a valiant idea at an attempt to take back our planet through the leaders we elect. In addition to this potential movement, a plastic revolution should also be on the list.

Rather than continue to kowtow to Big Corp. disposable consumer manipulation, demanding and supporting alternative choices can be attained. All it takes is to stop watching horrendous videos of another animal being tangled, injured or killed by plastic and to instead create action.

It's time for a global movement to eliminate plastic drinking straws from our landfills, our streams, our oceans, and our beaches. Simply request “no straw” at bars & restaurants and share your commitment with others. Encourage your favorite restaurant or bar to only provide straws on request from the customer and to use compostable or reusable options to the plastic straw.

Don’t let your plastic use damage the world’s species we so desperately need to maintain a healthy planet. All it takes is changing your disposable dependency first and then forging the way for others to follow suit.

This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Politically Green, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and was tagged with COMPOSTABLE, compotable straws, ocean, paper straws, PLA, plastic, sea turtle, SUSTAINABLE


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Green Home is the original online ecostore, based in San Francisco, California, in the heart of both the environmental and cleantech industries. Since 1999 Greenhome.com has played its part as one of the most comprehensive online resources for greening your home and greening your business. Our company is on a mission to green the world, one person (and one business) at a time. While all of our products are eco-friendly, we are especially passionate about compostable plates, cups, bowls, cutlery & utensils, take out containers and bags.  If more businesses and individuals switched from disposable to compostable we could make a real impact on the world!

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