Think about everything you do in a day – shower, eat, drink, work, play, shop. Now think about how you come into contact with plastic during every one of these activities – plastic bottles, straws, plates, containers, toys, bags. Avoiding plastic seems impossible, right?
But when you think about the impact plastics have on our environment, continuing to use plastic at our current rate seems unthinkable.
Consider the following:
- Over the last 10 years we have produced more plastic than we have in the last 100 years.
- The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic a year.
- The production of plastic uses around 8% of the world’s oil production.
- Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year.
- Approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. More than 1 billion plastic bags are used every minute.
- It takes 500 to 1000 years for plastic to degrade.
- Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body – 93% of Americans age 6 or older test positive for BPA.
- Only about 9% of the plastic used worldwide gets recycled. The vast majority ends up in landfills or sloughs off in the natural environment as litter.
- If current trends continue, by 2050 there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills. That’s 35,000 times heavier than the Empire State Building.
This month, millions of people worldwide have taken the pledge to do something about these statistics – they have committed to going plastic free for the entire month!
Even though we are part way through the month, there is still time to take a pass on the plastic and start some new planet-friendly habits!
Here are just a few easy ways you can reduce your plastic use! Whether you do just one or do them all you will make a huge impact!
Refuse plastic straws – Just drink straight from your glass or cup, or use a sustainable, reusable straw like a stainless steel straw.
Avoid single-use plastic items – Buy a big bag of snacks and pre-package them at home using resuable snack bags.
Say no to bottled water – Always bring a reusable water bottle or coffee mug with you.
Avoid plastic wrap for leftovers and sandwiches – Try natural beeswax wrap, silicone lids, and reusable sandwich bags instead.
Find more great information and suggestions at www.plasticfreejuly.org.