• TheMetMedia

let's talk about P L A S T I C

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It is not.- Dr. Seuss

Here are the facts:

  • Plastic was invented in the 19th century by Leo Baekeland in New York; plastic is made from materials found in nature, such as natural gas, oil, coal, minerals, and plants.

  • It takes 500-1000 years and probably more for plastic to break down. (it never truly goes away, it just breaks down to smaller pieces)

  • It is estimated that 4 TRILLION plastic bags are used worldwide annually.

  • 90.5% of the world's plastic has never been recycled.

  • 50% of plastic is used once and thrown away.

  • Plastic has been found in the bellies of 90% of seabirds and 100% of sea turtles.

  • 100 MILLION marine animals are killed every year due to plastic debris

  • Approximately 19 BILLION pounds of plastic that ends up in the ocean every year is expected to double by 2025. That is just 6 years away.

  • By the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

  • 51 TRILLION particles of microplastics float around the ocean.

  • Coral reefs are being heavily damaged by plastic pollution.

  • Microplastic is found in the food we eat, but we have little understanding of how it affects our health.

  • Nearly every human has been exposed to chemicals found in plastic.

  • Exposure to these chemicals are linked to diseases like cancer as well as birth defects.

Countries that are taking drastic steps to reduce plastic pollution:

  • Kenya, along with other countries, have banned plastic bags.

  • France promises to ban all plastic plates and cups by the year 2020.

  • The U.S., Canada, U.K along with four other countries will ban microbeads found in cosmetics starting in 2018.

  • Bangladesh was the first country to ban plastic bags in 2002, and New Zealand is the latest country to ban plastic bags.

  • India will ban all single-use plastic in the country by 2022.

  • China is starting talk about biodegradable bags .

  • Morocco has banned plastic bags.

  • Africa is leading the way in taking action against plastic pollution

Emily Atkin writes in The New Republic:

...banning straws—or plastic bags, or take-out containers—is not enough to solve the scourge of ocean plastics. In fact, no single country can make a significant enough impact to solve it before some of the impacts become irreversible. Like human-caused climate change, ocean plastic pollution is a huge and growing problem that demands a similarly ambitious solution. That’s why it should be approached in the same way: with an international agreement that imposes binding pollution reduction targets for every country, relative to their contribution to the problem. In other words, the plastics crisis needs its own Paris climate accord—and soon.

What can WE do to reduce plastic pollution?

  • Do everything in our power to limit single-use plastic (straws, shopping bags, disposable cutlery, coffee lids…) especially if we do not NEED it.

  • Reuse the plastic we already have (ex. shopping bags, plastic containers...)

  • Clean more oceans.

  • Support bans and taxes on plastic sanctioned by your government.

  • Live more consciously, and be mindful about how our actions are impacting the world.

  • Share the knowledge.

We only have one Earth, let’s do everything in our power to protect it.

-peace and love

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