What Will Your Plastic Legacy Be?

Photo: EPA / Noel Guevara / Greenpeace

From diapers, pacifiers and toys we use as babies, to feminine towels, toothbrushes and plastic food packaging we use as adults, each of us creates an enormous amount of plastic waste.

We may not give our waste much thought, but our collective consumption and waste are wreaking havoc on this planet and countless other animals. Just because we throw something in a garbage can (or even recycle bin), it doesn’t mean it disappears. It doesn’t. In fact, a lot of the plastic we use can’t be recycled even if we wanted (due to components used in its making).

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, “at the rate we are dumping items such as plastic bottles, bags and cups after a single use, by 2050 oceans will carry more plastic than fish and an estimated 99 per cent of seabirds will have ingested plastic.”

We are using this synthetic material that doesn’t biodegrade for almost all of our disposable needs. And countless animals, both on land and at sea, are paying the ultimate price (dying) by ingesting or becoming entangled in it.

The collective impact of our individual consumption choices can only be described as catastrophic for the entire planet and all life on it.

Is there anything you can do to minimize your plastic legacy? Yes, there is a lot we can do. And it is quite urgent that we be aggressive about minimizing our waste.

Please don’t be apathetic. Please do what you can to tread as lightly as possible. In addition to going vegan (which is urgently needed), please also eliminate all plastic use (particularly single-use) as much as possible, consider the benefits of smaller families, and be mindful of the immense impact our numbers and consumption choices have on the entire planet and all the other species with whom we share it.

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