Going Zero-Plastic for a Week: Lessons in Conscious Consumption

Going Zero-Plastic for a Week: Lessons in Conscious Consumption Banner Image

In early December of 2018, the Royal Statistical Society announced their international statistic of the year: 90.5%. This number stood for the portion of plastic waste that has never been recycled, totaling roughly 6,300 million metric tons. While a part of that staggering number comes from industrial and commercial development, the vast majority is from small, everyday single-use plastic that can easily be avoided. From shopping bags to water bottles, plastic has become ingrained in our daily lives.

The Miami Hurricanes vs Plastic Pollution

Each year, around 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans. This uniquely damaging form of pollution harms and kills many kinds of wildlife , both in and out of the water, from whales and dolphins to seabirds. But it is not just plastic bottles and packaging that cause harm—when plastics break down into microscopic pieces, they attract other chemical pollutants from industry and agriculture. These toxic microplastics then enter the food chain via plankton and small fish, eventually working their way up to humans. Consumption of fish contaminated by these microplastics has been linked to a variety of serious health problems, including cancer, auto-immune disease, cognitive problems, infertility, and endocrine disruption.

Plastic vs. Paper — The Quest for Sustainability

Plastic vs. Paper -- The Quest for Sustainability image

Plastic pollution is a global sustainability problem. Enough plastic is dumped into the world’s oceans each year that it could fill five grocery bags for every foot of coastline around the globe, according to scientists. The figures are staggering.

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