Our Unhealthy Obsession With Plastic

Our Unhealthy Obsession With Plastic

Just ban them already.
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“We’re doomed to live with yesterday’s plastic pollution and we are exacerbating the situation with each day of unchanged behavior,” Rolf Halden, associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering at Arizona State University

There's no question that American's love plastic. Just go to your local store and you'll see plastic everywhere. It's lightweight, cheap, and sometimes one use (because who likes cleaning, right?). However, do we really know where that plastic shopping bag or bottle goes after we throw it in our overfilled garbage can? Let me show you...

These plastics end up everywhere. In overfilled landfills, water ways, city streets, and even in animals. Our overuse of plastics is causing a major problem that if continued, we'll be forced to address.

So I should just recycle more?

The good news, many plastic water bottles are 100% recyclable, the problem is they often don't make it to recycling facilities. Go to your recycling service website and learn how you can properly recycle. Now for the bad news, About 7 billion pounds of Poly-carbonate plastics are produced each year. The chemical used in production of this plastic is called Bisphenol A (known as BPA), BPA is not recyclable. Here's a helpful image to know if your plastic is recyclable:

These symbols will always be on your plastics no matter what type. See the three to the right? Be wise when you buy and try to not purchase these plastics. For example, those plastic shopping bags most retail and grocery stores use are not recyclable! Next time you go shopping try to combine multiple items into one plastic bag, bring a reusable bag, or simply ask for a paper bag at the grocery store.

Plastic and your health

In today's world it is almost impossible to completely avoid plastics. Bisphenoal A is used in canned foods, bottles, food packaging, and even on some surgical equipment. Almost every human has measurable traces of plastic in their blood and urine. Here's a simple list of many side effects BPA can have on our health:

  • breast cancer.
  • prostate disease and cancer.
  • diabetes.
  • obesity.
  • hyperactivity.
  • impaired, altered, and compromised immune system and functions.
  • miscarriage.
  • impaired female reproductive development

Sadly these aren't even all the known health concerns related in BPA in plastics.

What can you do?

1) Drink tap water! If you're concerned, buy an in home filter. Bottled water sits inside those plastic bottles for days, or however long you let your stash sit. Chemicals from the plastic gets absorbed into the water and bottled water typically only goes through a small number of filtration steps.

2) Use a reusable shopping bag, if you forgot yours then ask for a paper bag or use a small number of plastic bags.

3) Write to your local government officials and fight for the ban of BPA use and plastic shopping bags. Here's an organization that will help you get started: http://www.bagtheban.com/in-your-state

4) Do you really need a plastic straw for your drink? While at restaurants, especially if you're just drinking water, skip the straw. Animals will thank you.

5) Buy food in bulk, not only will you save money but you'll also save all the plastic waste.

6) Bring a reusable cup to your favorite coffee shop, many places will even give you a discount.

Please note, banning plastic all together will not happen in the near future. We rely on plastic for cars, computers, medical devices and so much more. However, could you imagine if everyone starting following my six simple steps? The use of plastics would drastically decrease.


Cover Image Credit: Seathos

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8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.

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For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

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