We Eat Plastic Now.
In the 1970s, recording artist Peter Frampton sang about “plastic people” (yes, I’m aging myself.) Although the expression referred to people being phony, he was on to something. Today we are all becoming plastic people in a different way, as reports indicate we eat a credit card’s worth of plastic every week!
Plastic Oceans = Plastic Fish.
Have you seen the image of the plastic Yoplait yogurt container dated 1976 that went viral? Some folks are skeptical that it washed up on a beach but, real or not real, studies show that it can take up to 500 years for plastic to completely degrade. Future Agenda projects that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. They also indicate that 80% of plastic pollution comes from land-based activities. Plastic not only litters our ocean and waterways but now plastic is even being detected in our food, such as Ragu sauce and tea bags, and there are even tiny bits in the fish we eat.
Looking for ways to avoid plastic? Stainless-steel containers work well, and MIRA is a great brand. Yes, I know, the lid is plastic but in my book I explain the following: (1) if the food is hot leave the lid off until it cools; (2) don’t let the food touch the lid, especially if it’s a fatty food or acid food; and (3) if the container is full, place a piece of unbleached parchment paper in between the food and the lid! You may also want to consider stainless steel containers for kid’s school lunches. LunchBots has a variety of sizes and containers.
Recycling and Plastic Codes.
Which are best to avoid, and which are better-than-those-to-avoid? Toxic-Free Future says no to PVC #3 (polyvinyl chloride) and to steer clear of PC #7 (BPA), while also avoiding PS #6 (Styrofoam). Which are the safer codes? #2 HDPE, #4 LDPE and #5 PP are considered safer. For examples of where these safer resin codes are found in plastic products, visit Toxic-Free Future.
Do the Best You Can.
Wangari Maathai, a renowned Kenyan environmental activist, said “The generation that destroys the environment is not the generation that pays the price. That is the problem.” Unfortunately, the U.S. only recycles about 9% of its plastic waste.
So, when it comes to plastic pollution, make changes as best you can because it is a learning process for sure. You can, however, make one change today — stop using bottled water and get a reusable water container – preferably stainless steel or glass.