In the streets, on our beaches, in our rivers. Our oceans are being filled up with it, our landfill sites running out of space. It’s concerning scientists: our plastic waste is becoming an environmental concern. Humanity’s dependence on plastic products is growing stronger than ever. The situation of our environment? Alarming.
It’s time we all do something about it.
Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from plastic pollution are now occurring everywhere: our plastic waste is not only harming our environment but affecting our ecosystems and biodiversity significantly. Many spaces of plants and wildlife are on the verge of extinction, natural habitats are disrupted. It’s contaminating the food we eat, the water we drink. And the list goes on.
Studies estimate that over 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our ocean every year. In 2003, National Geographic reported that approximately 500 billion to one trillion of plastic bags were wasted annually.
The New Year is just around the corner and with it comes the possibility to start anew, do better than we did in the past. So, for 2019, I challenge you to reconsider your impact on our environment and to reduce your plastic consumption. To make it easier for you, I’ve created a list of New Year’s plastic-free resolutions anyone can follow. Easy switches you can make to have a better impact.
10 plastic-free resolutions you should take for 2019
- Take a ‘no single use plastic bags’ pledge, and carry reusable shopping bags with you
- Get yourself a reusable bottle and say bye-bye to single use plastic bottles
- Give up single use coffee/tea cups and start using reusable cups
- Look for bulk shops around your area and go grocery using your own containers (preferably glass jars)
- Favor local farmers market over supermarkets, when it comes to fruits and vegetables with no plastic, they are the best
- Avoid plastic straws
- When shopping, go for products without plastic packages
- Switch from plastic toothbrushes to biodegradable ones
- Learn how to say ‘no’ to plastic. As a society, we are living in a plastic world, everywhere you go plastic could be handle to you: saying no will save you from amount of unnecessary plastic waste
- Carry reusable cutlery always with you, saving you from using disposable ones on the go (you don’t need to buy yourself a fancy set of reusable cutlery you can also carry your own kitchen cutlery)
Going %100 plastic-free won’t happen from one day to another, but our daily actions can change the story of our environment. Personally, I’ve managed to cut a wide range of plastic component from my life following the same resolutions.
Our population keeps on growing, just like our amount of plastic. It’s accumulating, but not going anywhere. And it takes more than hundreds, sometimes even thousands of years, for plastic to break down.
This year, microplastics were found in every species of sea turtle across the world. But not only, it was also found in humans for the first time. Scientists from the Australian Environment Agency and the University of Vienna have analysed samples of 8 people from eight different countries and all of them contained microplastics. Ending plastic pollution is crucial.
The European Parliament just recently decided to go to war against single-use plastic items. By 2021, common plastic products such as plastic straws, plastic bags and so on should be prohibited within the EU. Let’s just hope that they don’t get lost into long negociations. And even though the decision was long awaited, it is definitely a step forward in the right direction. Better later than never.
And while our governments are dealing with negociations toward the fight against plastic waste, let’s just remember that we can all individually be a part of the solution, not the pollution. Go plastic free one step at a time, and start this New Year with plastic-free resolutions !