The Truth Behind Our Plastic Problem and How We Can Help

Take a second to take note of what's around you: a few pens scatter your desk, a tube of chapstick sits on your lap and the Starbucks cup of iced-coffee next to your computer is starting to condensate. What do these items have in common? They are all plastic.

This material has revolutionized every aspect of human life and society since the beginning of the twentieth century, according to BBC. Despite making life simpler, plastic is on the verge of making it much harder. Plastic pollution has changed how the ocean functions, which ultimately determines how the rest of the planet does. And unfortunately, recycling isn’t as extensive as it is made out to be.

Everyone depends on a healthy sea, but why do so many people neglect to care? That is mostly due to the prevailing habit of single-use plastics, like straws or grocery bags. Those items are rarely recycled, so they accumulate in landfills, or worse, in one of the oceans or seas. The thing about plastic is that it breaks down-- but that doesn’t mean it decomposes-- it just gets smaller and smaller.

Luckily, people are starting to realize the severe destruction plastic pollution is creating. As a result, biodegradable and eco-friendly options are on their way to becoming normalized. We should make 2019 the year for eco-friendly habits, because if we don't start caring now, it will be too late. Irreversible damage caused by plastic is already happening across the globe.; scientists predict garbage to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050.

The real problem is how everyone is a contributor, even though they have the power to control and improve the current conditions. Here are some simple ways to help make your life more green (and the ocean more blue!):

There's more than just reduce, reuse, recycle

We should add “refuse” to the famous three-word saying. Ultimately, the best way to reduce plastic waste is to avoid causing it in the first place. A simple habit to become familiarized with is to turn down plastic straws, bags, and cups and just start using your own reusable ones.

Reusable products should be your best friend

Anything that can be replaced with cloth, metal, or glass should be prioritized over plastic. For example, when going out to eat it is a smart and ecological idea to bring reusable to-go containers instead of the single-use plastic ones.

Stay informed

It is important to stay up to date with the news regarding the conditions of the ocean. After all, it produces up to 70% of the world’s oxygen, regulates global climate and absorbs carbon dioxide. Here is a small list of websites that go more in depth: