… Stop using plastics — especially those flimsy plastic grocery bags — unless you plan to reuse reuse reuse them.
People ask me if I could do only one thing to preserve the planet, what would it be? I tell them that the best, and easiest way to help save this planet would be to cut down on one’s use of plastics, beginning with those flimsy plastic bags that are given out by supermarkets. If people would only make or purchase several strong canvas bags and reuse them for carrying groceries, they would have taken a big step towards conserving our planet.
But why plastics, specifically? Because plastics are made from petroleum products, primarily oil. In fact, almost 10 percent of U.S. oil consumption — that’s approximately 2 million barrels each day — is used to make plastics. That could power a lot of SUVs!
Equally as bad, plastics are not biodegradable. Plastics do not break down when they are underground, in dumps, in compost piles nor in oceans. And plastic bags often kill endangered animals, such as albatross and sea turtles, after they reach the oceans. Basically, the only way to get rid of plastics is by gathering them up and burning them. So in short, that plastic bag that is stuck in your neighbor’s tree? Well, it could remain there longer than you are alive on this planet. Is that how you wish to be remembered?
But what about recycling plastics? Unfortunately, many people have an optimistic view of this country’s recycling efforts; according to a nationwide online survey, on average, respondents estimated 38% of plastic is recycled. But in reality, less than 6% is recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Everyone knows about our country’s unhealthy reliance on oil and the impact that petroleum use has on climate change,” said Jim Barber, President and CEO, Metabolix, which has developed a brand of fully biodegradable Natural Plastics. “Similarly, people see a lot of plastic waste in the form of litter. But the fact that so many people are unaware that plastic is made from oil and that it will persist in the environment for thousands of years, shows the need for education about the impact of plastic on the environment and the various alternatives made from renewable resources.”
So, in short, to help save Mother Earth, reduce your use of plastics as much as is possible. Make or purchase several canvas bags for carrying groceries. And if you must use plastics, either reuse them (as in the case of plastic refrigerator containers) or use plastics that you know are biodegradable.
Basically: Plastic = Evil
Yahoo Business story.