Let's Talk Plastics
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Politics and Activism

Let's Talk Plastics

Let us talk about how simple changes in our everyday lives can help reduce plastics in our oceans.

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Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Now more than ever, society is realizing the impact it has on the environment, especially our oceans. Throughout our day, we can produce unnecessary waste that can be easily avoided with choosing smarter options. Our use of straws, plastic water bottles, food packaging, and plastic grocery bags can easily be replaced with environmentally friendly options that not only help the environment by not creating waste that would eventually end up in the oceans but also these options can last much longer because they are reused.

It is no shock that one of the most popular items that end up in our oceans is plastic straws. It has been estimated that "we use over 500 million every day in America, and most of those end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life" (strawlessocean.org). Amongst the oceans, sea turtles have been found with straws in their digestive tracks and lodged in their noses because it is believed straws have a resemblance to one of their favorite foods, jellyfish, and more specifically their tentacles. With this resemblance, society should switch over from plastic straws to using their compostable friends, paper straws. If the turtles or other marine life ends up accidentally eating these for a snack, the paper straws are easier to dissolve in their stomachs leading to healthier outcomes than having plastic in them their entire lives.

With the amount of variety, we have in reusable water bottles, buying plastic bottles are simply, unnecessary. It is a misconception that when plastic bottles are recycled, they are made into new plastic bottles, well, this is inaccurate. Actually, "when a plastic bottle is recycled it is downcycled" into our everyday household goods like carpets and pens (headstuff.org). There is no difference between a reusable bottle and a one-use plastic water bottle, so why not pick out a water bottle that fits your style and can bring a little joy into your everyday life. This will cut down on the plastic waste we produce, and it decreases the chance of plastic debris filling our oceans and the stomachs of our marine life animals.

There are numerous ways we can work towards living a healthier lifestyle for our planet. The simple changes to using reusable food storage tubs or beeswax wraps instead of plastic sandwich bags, paper straws or reusable metal straws instead of plastic straws, and reusable grocery bags instead of plastic bags that litter our planet, will benefit our Earth in outstanding ways. Instead of using products that can easily be portrayed as food, or even something that animals can get tangled in, we can use safe products that are natural and organic substances. Even though you may believe that one person cannot change the world, it takes one step at a time to advocate for change. These life changes can help reduce our waste, overall leading us and our animal friends to a happier life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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