Plastic recycling is important but reducing plastic usage is our ticket to a healthier planet moving forward. Scientific research conducted by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, brings news of a Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where bottle caps, cigarette lighters, shards of plastic and other plastic marine debris swirl endlessly, eventually photodegrading and impacting our food chain. The foundation’s lab analysis results show that small bits of plastic outweigh the naturally occurring zooplankton 6:1. “More trash than life,” as Algalita founder Charles Moore puts it. It remains to be seen what can be done, if anything, to remove existing plastic from our oceans. It’s not just a matter of “cleaning up” unfortunately. New plastic garbage keeps flowing into our oceans from…us.
Reducing plastic waste in our environment begins with you and me. Refusing plastic packaging requires time and energy and difficult choices. Recycling the plastic we already have is also time-consuming and challenging.
Here are some easy tips on how to reduce plastic in the household and even when you’re on the move:
1. Recycle computers and electronics through a socially responsible recycling company does not engage in global dumping. Many computer “recycling” companies ship plastic casing and metal parts left over after computers are dismantled and the most valuable parts are removed. Frequently these discarded parts are then shipped to the poorest villages on earth, where they wreak havoc on the environment and the health of the local residents.
2. Reuse plastic coffee “To Go” lids from your local coffee shop. They are easy to rinse with a little soap and water. Carry a spare lid in your purse, briefcase or car as backup.