Make a Change: Use Less Plastic

Megan McCall, Writer

Since the 1950s, over 16.6 trillion pounds of plastic has been produced, and only 9% of it was recycled. Over the past several years, the use of single use plastic has continually been on the rise creating irreversible damage to the planet, to the health of humans and especially animals.

There are several ways that people could cut down their use of plastic that would benefit the earth as a whole. Even though some of the damage is irreversible, there still is a lot of change that could be made. Making small changes to a lifestyle can make a big difference. Here are some examples of ways people can cut down their use of plastic:

  1. Use a reusable, stainless steel straw – plastic straws are one of the major forms of plastic that ends up in the ocean. Scientists have estimated that there are around 8.3 billion plastic straws on shorelines around the world.
  2. Invest in reusable plastic bags for groceries and other purposes – on average, a single use plastic bag is used for 12 minutes and then is thrown away. Using a cloth bag could save millions of plastic bag from entering the ocean.
  3. Don’t buy plastic water bottles – plastic water bottles take up to 700 years to dissolve. If more people used a reusable water bottle, the amount that ended up in the ocean would immensely go down.
  4. Store your food in mason jars or other glass containers – buying in bulk is a great way to save plastic because the amount of containers used goes down.

Although some of the ways to cut down plastic may be an inconvenience, it is our job the make changes to the problems we have ultimately created. Small changes to a lifestyle can go a long way.