Where do our plastics go?

The alarming increase of disposable plastics is making plastic pollution the next pandemic. The amount of masks, plastic gloves, and bags has added a dramatic volume to the number of plastics we use daily.

I am sure many of you have seen masks around beaches and mountains, along with the typical plastic bottle abandoned at the seashore…

Indeed, these single-use items usually end up in the environment, especially the oceans, making marine plastic debris one of the biggest problems within the plastic pollution sphere. 

This plastic debris breaks down in the oceans, floating on the surfaces and confusing seabirds, turtles, fishes with their daily feed. According to Greenpeace’s report Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans: “At least 267 different species are known to have suffered from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris”

Plastics have Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in their composition. These contaminants stay in the animals’ bodies and harm the endocrine system and its development. So it is not just a problem for oceans and marine life. These contaminants will ultimately affect our health and end in our bodies, too, as we feed ourselves with them.

Reducing plastic in our daily practices is more critical than ever; we need to change our habits, reduce single-use plastics, and be more conscious about where our waste ends and what we do with it. Reducing disposable plastics, recycling correctly, and avoiding plastics can help, but we need to go a step further and upcycle, make use of circular products (not only in our daily routine), and be eco-conscious when we acquire a new item, be curious about if the product comes from fair trade, if it is made using recycled materials, if their carbon footprint is neutral… We need to grow our sustainable knowledge and apply it to every step of our life.