EMM 6: Single-Use Plastics

We are ending #plasticfreejuly with a BANG over here at The Enlighten Me Podcast! Today on the show I’m talking about single-use plastics. These are things that can only be used once and then have to be tossed. There are some really useful single-use plastics, like plastic surgical gloves! But there are also some really wasteful and unnecessary single-use plastics, like plastic straws and coffee cups. There are so many different types of single-use plastics that you might not even realize just how many are in your life. In this episode, I’m talking about what these are, why they’re so bad, and some easy ways to cut that plastic out!

You might be thinking, why are people so worried about plastic? It can be recycled and reused! While this is mostly true, there are some problems here. For one, a lot of types of plastic can’t actually be recycled. Think of potato chip bags here. Also, while you might have your recycling game down pat, a lot of countries around the world don’t have great waste management systems, let alone recycling programs. Finally, it should be noted that a whopping 91% of recyclable plastics are not even recycled! Shocking, right?

The plastic pollution crisis is ravaging our planet and our wildlife. There are millions of tons of plastic getting dumped into our oceans every year. And what’s worse is that our wildlife is consuming these plastic particles, and then we are consuming them too! According to the Plastic Oceans documentary, we’ll be eating plastic every time we eat seafood by the year 2050… I’ll pass on the crab cakes, thanks.

Overall, we need to be more conscious consumers and watch our plastic use. Anytime we can cut back, we should. If we were to eliminate those single-use plastics, we would cut the worlds plastic pollution by 50%! So, here are some practical ways that you can reduce your waste:
-Buy reusable grocery sacks, produce sacks, coffee cups, water bottles, straws, and cutlery
-Look for paper, glass and aluminum packaging over plastic
-Shop your Farmer’s Market first
-Buy dry goods in bulk and bring your own containers
-Use reusable rags for cleaning instead of sponges or towels
-Switch to reusable diapers over disposable
-Use wash cloths instead of baby wipes
-Follow hashtags on Instagram: #noexcuseforsingleuse#zerowastekitchen#zerowastebathroom for more ideas
-Buy local instead of online and request plastic-free shipping when buying online
-Participate in beach clean ups or neighborhood clean ups

Links from the Show:
NRDC: 
www.nrdc.org/stories/single-use…FZcvMaAi6QEALw_wcB
Univ. of Georgia article: science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6…ef&siteid=sci
Plastic Footprint Calculator: 
www.earthday.org/plastic-pollution-calculator-2/
Plastic Oceans Documentary:
plasticoceans.ca/?matchtype=b&net…80caAoLvEALw_wcB

Connect with Mackenzie:
Instagram & Facebook: @theheartfelthippie
Email: mackenzie.heartfelthippie@gmail.com

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