Thursday, April 27, 2017

Death by Plastic

Death By Plastic

Twenty years from now I hope that plastic will no longer be used in packaging or any other purpose.   Our environment cannot break plastic down as it can paper or cloth or hemp.  I hope that people will start using sensible products.  String bags have been used for years to carry groceries and other items.  These are reused for many years.  Cloth bags may be reused over and over again. For a plastic bag to break down in the environment it normally takes 1000 years; for a plastic bottle 450 years.

Styrofoam cups etc. will not biodegrade.  What sort of a world are we leaving to the next generations?

Plastic microbeads in soap, body washes and toothpaste were banned by President Obama in 2015.  These tiny beads of plastic are washed down the drain and then taken up by small organisms in water that mistake them for food. So plastic microbeads go up the food chain and we can and do end up eating plastic in fish.  Microbeads have contaminated our streams, the Great Lakes and oceans. 

The giant trash heaps swirling around in the oceans in great gyres are mainly plastic.  In the Pacific Ocean the plastic swirls around in a great vortex of garbage that has washed in from land.    Beached whales have been found with large amounts of plastic in their stomachs.  Many types of  fish, turtles and other sea life are killed or maimed by plastic. Today people who eat sea food are eating plastic that has been ingested by fish, crab, shrimp etc.

Going to the grocery store now means that shoppers will bring back plastic whether they want it or not.

If plastic microbeads have been banned, the time has come to ban plastic bags and other types of plastic.  Plastic should be banned and alternative non-toxic materials that can break down in the environment must be developed.


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