reduce plastic product waste

Our obsession with plastic products is damaging the planet. However, by making some little tweaks, you can help fight this environmental crisis in a big way.

Every second, people around the world buy a million plastic bottles, and less than half of them are recycled. The plastic in landfills can take up to 1,000 years to decay, and we are not just increasing our landfills–it is destroying our sea life and destroying coastal ecosystems.

Specialists estimate that there are 46,000 plastic pieces of each square miles of ocean, and plastic bags are the most devastating thing among the 5.25 trillion plastic bits now floating in the sea, according to the Australian eco-organization Ocean Crusaders. Let’s discuss why it is so bad?

Plastic bags and packaging can kill one animal after another. Just one bag can kill an animal that consumes it, which then decays, releasing the bag for another animal to consume and forming a never-ending death cycle.

Facts That Will Make You Avoid Plastic

Plastic is not only killing ecosystems and marine animals, but countless studies are showing it is hazardous to human health.

Plastic Production Is Off The Charts

The prevalence of plastic, which began rising in the 1950s, is growing out of control–18.2 trillion pounds of plastic has been generated around the world, according to research published in the journal Science Advances, a book of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. And there’s no indication of slowing down, considering scientists state that the next 26.5 trillion pounds will probably be generated worldwide by 2050.

Plastic Ends Up In Our Oceans

Every plastic bit that has ever been produced will stay in the environment in some form, but after we easily throw out our scraps in the home, wind and runoff carry our waste from landfills and roads down the sewer and straight to the sea. With the average American projecting away 185 pounds of trash annually and internationally, creating above 320 million tons of plastic yearly, the marine environment is taking a significant hit from our everyday disposal of plastic.

Our plastic consumption is directly affecting marine life in the ocean, including fish, which is also a primary source of food for humans. Frequently our society is so focused on making our lives more convenient in the short term, but in the long term, our health and the health of marine life are at the expense of these everyday conveniences.

Most Plastic Is Single-Use

Were you aware that roughly 50% of the yearly plastic manufacturing –in 2016, this amount totaled about 335 million metric tons–is intended to get a single-use item? This includes things such as plastic bags (that have a standard lifespan of 15 minutes), water bottles, packaging, and straws.

As an example, did you know that conventional liquid laundry soaps are often packed in high-density polyethylene and that 68% of those plastic products bottles aren’t recycled? Firms like Dropps are dedicated to reducing single-use plastic waste by providing laundry pods that are produced with plant-based, biodegradable ingredients and shipped in 100 percent recyclable, compostable cardboard box.

BPA Mimics Human Hormones

BPA (bisphenol-A) is a compound that has been used in the production of plastics and often comes into contact with food, such as kitchenware, packaging, as well as the inner coatings of jar caps and cans. Studies reveal that BPA associates with estrogen receptors and plays a part in the pathogenesis of various endocrine disorders, such as male and female infertility, premature puberty, breast and prostate cancer, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). There is a cause you see several products nowadays, being marketed as BPA-free.

BPA Can Be the Reason For Obesity

As a known endocrine disruptor, BPA can intervene with healthy endocrine system functioning, for example, serum levels of hormones that regulate metabolism. There’s growing evidence that BPA can play a part in the development of obesity both in utero and later in life.

BPA Is Bad For Infants

A recent report shows that using plastic containers to store or warm food in ovens could pose a potential health risk to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics is asking for improvements after a report indicated that some chemicals found in food colorings, preservatives, and packaging material might pose a threat. The report cites “an increasing number of researches” that indicates certain food additives may disrupt hormones, growth, and development, besides, to increase the chances of childhood obesity. The most severe artificial additives? You guessed it: BPAs observed in metal cans and plastic containers. Parents are advised to avoid using microwaves to warm beverages and food or putting plastics in the dishwasher.

BPA Affects Thyroid Function

Thyroid hormones, which control energy, are also modified by BPA. The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health issued evidence in November 2016, associating BPA with autoimmune thyroid disorders (for example, Hashimoto’s disease). Lab tests measuring BPA exceeded detection limits in 52 percent of people with raised thyroid antibodies. The deadly levels of BPA had prompted their thyroid gland to be under autoimmune relapse.

BPA Causes Birth Defects And Miscarriages

A new study has found an indication that BPA may negatively affect Women’s reproductive systems and cause chromosome birth defects, damage, and miscarriages. Researchers from Washington State University and the University of California, Davis, discovered that monkeys exposed to BPA in utero experienced reproductive abnormalities, which increased their risk of giving birth to offspring with Down syndrome or even suffering a miscarriage.

BPA Increases Blood Pressure

A dietitian and owner of Nourished Bite Nutrition Megan Casper, MS, RDN, based in NYC, states that drinking beverages from cans stuffed with BPA can increase blood pressure. In clinical experiments, volunteers sipped the same drink in glass containers or bottles. Two hours after ingestion, researchers estimated their blood pressure and urinary BPA concentration; BPA urine levels higher in the package group, and their systolic blood pressure raised by 4.5 mm Hg, compare to the glass container group. Avoiding plastic is simply one of the best ways to green living and can make you healthier.

BPA Raises Diabetes Risk

A report circulated by the US Endocrine Society suggests that exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs)–such as BPA–can increase your risk of diabetes. The team pointed to various studies, including a long-term epidemiological study that tied EDCs to type 2 diabetes.

BPA Leads To Heart Disease

Early study suggests that BPA can injure the heart and arteries, resulting in problems like atherosclerosis (build-up of plaque on the artery walls) and arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat).

What Recycling Numbers Actually Mean

What is with those numbers on the bottoms of plastic produce? According to another report from The American Academy of Pediatrics, warns to stay away from plastic products with the recycling numbers 3, 6, and 7. Those amounts directly correspond to the chemicals that disturb the endocrine system (styrene, phthalates, and bisphenols).

Not All Plastic Is Recyclable

Did you know that plastic products bags, coffee cups, and straws are recyclable? As an example, National Geographic cites the problem with recycling a coffee cup: While the exterior of a coffee cup is made from paper, there is a thin coating of the plastic inside (to shield you from getting burned and to insulate the cup from cooling too fast). Those two different materials would need to be separated by hand or using a machine, and that practice is too pricey and time-consuming.

You Are Eating Plastic With Every Meal

It doesn’t matter how clean you believe, your house is, a Heriot-Watt University research shows that you could be consuming over 100 plastic particles with each meal. So where’s it coming from? The synthetic fabrics and soft furnishings all around your residence, which blend with dust and then fall on your dinner plate. The scientists reasoned that the average person swallows up to 68,415 possibly unsafe plastic fibers a year directly through eating. Reducing plastic products in all aspects of your daily life will help save the planet and keep you healthier.

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