…but what do you think of when you hear about it? The straws pulled out of turtles, or a plastic bottle left on the side of a road. Of course there are plenty of people who have said to me that plastic degrades or a classic is “I can’t see any”. It’s true that plastic breaks up but it doesn’t disappear, it simply breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces until we can’t see it with the naked eye. Plus we have so much plastic around us that some people don’t realise it’s there. The Ikea furniture you bought the other day has layers of laminate (plastic) or perhaps your toothpaste you brush your teeth with everyday which contains silicone. In a world where plastic is seen as a convenience is also a world where plastic is seen by our environment and inhabitants as a poison, a trick or an obstacle.
So what is my point?
Well the AWdF is helping Earth Day, petitioning to ban single use plastics, the types wrapping your food in the supermarkets or from your favourite chinese takeaway. Not forgetting those drunken nights you may or may not want to remember, where a straw is always given to you which, let’s face it, it will be a miracle if that even ends up in the bin. The aim is to collect 1m signatures to take to the UN so that governmental action can take place. This will hopefully lead to the creation of legal action against plastic production, consumption and disposal. Most plastics are not recyclable and of the 6.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic produced, only 9% is recovered. The crisis has become so big that a 17yr old invented a floating rubbish collector powered by solar energy. The Ocean Cleanup have now got several of these operating systems around our seas.
You may be wondering how you can help. Public awareness is one of the greatest challenges. There are so many ways that you change how you live your lifestyle. For example if you find yourself at starbucks or costa often for your coffee or chai latte fix (like me) buy a travel mug, you also save on every drink too! Go to the counters in the supermarket and ask for how much you want rather than picking up a pre-packaged item, the price is the same or if you don’t have that ensure the plastic packaging can be recycled. My family had no idea about the real impact of plastic pollution until I explained it. Take a look at this website for little tip bits on how to reduce your plastic consumption. Telling friends and family is also a great way to spread the word.
Just remember to have fun! (plastic-free).
Marina Godin is on a funded placement with the AWDF – for more information on our funded placements please email us now!