Single use plastic, three words that should send a shiver down your spine and make you break out in a nervous sweat. But if they don’t, then here are 5 reasons why single use plastic is the worst.
It uses precious non-renewable natural resources to produce.
Plastic is produced from crude oil extracted from the earth, this crude oil is non-renewable meaning once it’s gone, it’s gone. By using this precious material that we also use for heating houses, producing non-single use plastics, and to power infrastructure we are taking it away from these other uses to be used only once.
Produces toxic fumes to produce.
In order to become plastic the crude oil is extracted, heated multiple times, and processed to become the plastic pellets that businesses use to produce their single use plastic items. This process releases lots of Carbon Dioxide and other harmful gasses into the atmosphere. Again, just for one single use. We should be considering which products we are willing to use this process for and only use these when necessary. An item that will be used once surely is not a valid reason.
Despite being single use for us, it lasts for 1000s of years.
Despite single use plastic being functional for one use it is reported that it may take up to 1000 years to decompose. To put that into perspective no piece of single use plastic made from crude oil that has been made has decomposed naturally.
It has a negative impact on wildlife and the sea.
“Over 1 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean.” It’s no secret that plastic has a massive negative impact on the sea and the creatures that call it home. Huge sea creatures such as sharks, whales, turtles, and more are dying because of plastic that injures them, is consumed by them, and blocks their airways. Why is this? It is because discarded single use plastic that is not recycled (and some that is) will end up in landfill. Weather such as wind, rain and flooding will cause these plastic items to end up in waterways and making their way to the ocean.
Micro Plastics are bad for your body.
Micro plastics are fragments of plastic that are 5mm or smaller, produced either through deliberate shredding by companies or recycling plants or through natural degradation through weathering. As these tiny pieces of plastic make their way through the water system they are eaten by fish and shellfish which we eat, also it comes out of our taps in tiny fibres. This means that we are consuming plastic without even knowing it. A study carried out by the University of Newcastle in Australia showed that we consume about a credit card’s worth of plastic each week! By throwing out single use plastic, we are not only having a negative impact on the planet and its creatures but also ourselves.
If you are on your journey to becoming more sustainable. Check out our blog: Small Steps to a more sustainable life.