PLASTIC: It is time to stop buying it.
According to the dictionary, Plastic is a synthetic material made from a wide range of organic polymers such as polyethylene, PVC, nylon, etc., that can be molded into shape while soft and then set as a rigid or slightly elastic form.
This statement is minuscule compared to the problems plastic has been causing around the world.
Can plastic be beneficial to anyone? Let's see what has been written about it.
According to The World Counts (www.theworldcounts.com) five trillion plastic bags will be used this year (160.000/sec) and 100 million tons of plastic. Most of it ends up in the oceans, where it is broken down into small pieces and eaten by sea animals, causing their death.
Academy-award winner Jeremy Irons shows in his video “Mockumentary” how a plastic bag gets to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a place in the middle of the ocean with millions of floating plastic bags trapped by the ocean current.
The Garbage Patch has the amazing size of 2x Texas!
He says that not only plastic bags are the problem, but all kinds of plastic are swimming in our oceans. Here give examples of the other plastics that are not the bags - such as the microscopic pieces of polymer that are creating a toxic “soup”.
Why? Because although recycling has become quite popular, it isn't enough.
The population recycles only 10% of all the consumed plastic, another part is handled by responsible authorities but still a great part of plastic ends up in the oceans. As already said, fish whales, turtles, birds now include plastic as part of their food chain. Since these sea animals are part of the human food chain, we have been eating plastic as well.
Given this fact, I have to agree with vegetarians: some meat is really disgusting. Katie Forster, in her article published in 21/05/2016 “Microplastics in the sea a growing threat to human health, United Nations warns” mentioned that microplastics in the sea pose a growing threat to human health. Plastic pollution is an enormous world problem. A lot has been done but we still have tons of work to do to change this scenario. Using plastic has become a habit but habits can be changed. So, when it comes to plastic, let's use the 6 R's that most, if not all, nature activists use: Reduce, choose products made of materials other than plastic Reuse, think of things you can reuse such as shopping bags, bottles, glasses, and straws; Recycle, shoes and clothes have lots of plastic fibers, donate them; Rethink, try to do things without using disposable plastic; Repair, if something made of plastic breaks, try to fix it or give it another use before trashing it; Refuse, say no to plastic, use metal forks or ceramic dishes instead of styrofoam.
We will always have plastic in our lives and it should be ok, after all, it is a great invention. We just need to put in its place.
Mexico, for example, has been doing a great job with recycled plastic.
Carabaña, 19/03/18, wrote that Mexico is making a difference by recycling pet and making into homes for earthquakes victims. "Coca-Cola, Sprite, Pepsi and Lipton Ice Tea are just some of the brands on display on the labels of plastic bottles that will make up the new home for many victims of the earthquake.
The earthquake of September 19 left many without a roof and many volunteers from the organization Viviendas Emergentes, or Emerging Homes, (VIEM) are helping to build many new homes – one bottle at a time.
As a victim of the earthquake is building her home and says “We have not given so much already for this not to work,” says Vanessa. "I am going to devote my entire life to this. I am sure it is going to work."
According to official data, 862 homes were damaged in Tetela del Volcan and another 1,200 in the surrounding towns. Carabaña mentions that locals complain that the reconstruction effort led more by social organizations than federal authorities, has been slow so much more funding is needed.
He mentioned as well that the organization began to receive help from people in Mexico City as well as businesses who offered trucks to move the PET. In the capital alone, they were able to collect one million bottles. Around 15,000 bottles and 60,000 to 80,000 pesos (€3,000 to €4,000) are needed to build a 40-square-meter house.
As educators, professionals, mothers, and women we should avoid buying plastics and to stop polluting our environment and destroying our lives.
by Marli Camargo
- CARABAÑA ;CARLOS 2018, EL PAÍS- MÉXICO
- FOSTER, Katie ; 2016 - “The Independent online.” https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/microplastics-microbeads-ocean-sea-serious-health-risks-united-nations-warns.