Why You Should Say No to Plastic: How Plastic is Harming Your Health & The Environment
Plastic is convenient, and it is cheap. It is no wonder that the majority of manufacturing and packaging for most consumer goods are based around or using plastics. But is this where many of the benefits end. Plastic is not only environmentally harmful to manufacture and dispose of, but it also takes a toll on your health, and it takes an incredibly long time to degrade in a natural environment. Many of these plastics also make their way into the food chains of many animals, some that we also eventually consume.
Plastic is an incredibly dangerous threat to our environment at this time. People are consuming plastic more than ever before, leading to more plastic waste, more manufacturing demand, and a more toxic place for wildlife to exist.
Why You Should Say No to Plastic
Most plastic is made from petrochemicals, which are chemicals formulated from oil. In order to create plastic, there must be oil drilled and pumped, and transported to where it is needed for the manufacturing process. This process itself is horribly damaging to the environment. Countless species lose their habitat and sources of clean water when oil drilling begins in a new site.
Once the oil is pumped out of the underground oilfield, it must be transported. This is done in many different ways. Sometimes it is put in barrels and shipped across the oceans in ships that can leak or spill. Other times it is pumped in gigantic pipelines across entire nations. Pipelines leak and poison groundwater, and sometimes encroach upon sovereign native land. Large companies that need plastic don’t care about any of this, as long as the supply doesn’t stop and demand stays level or increases.
Plastic bottles are one of the ways plastic is used in packaging that is the most dangerous. There are nearly 500,000,000,000 plastic water bottles made every year, with nearly one million sold every single minute of every single day. This leads to an incredible amount of plastic waste, with a tiny percentage of bottles ever being recycled.
This plastic is being dumped in our oceans faster than it can ever be broken down. Each year about 8 million tons of new plastic waste enter our planet’s waters. Many researchers estimate that by the year 2050, there will be one entire plastic bottle per living fish in our oceans.
Even when plastics are designed to be recyclable, they are rarely contributed to recycling programs. People often see almost all plastic packaging as simply “garbage” and treat it as such, throwing it away. This leads to plastics filling landfills and being dumped in oceans. Some of these are subsequently broken down to some extent and are ingested by some small fish as microplastics, being deposited in increasingly large amounts by the organisms that eat them. This leads to a significant problem of plastic accumulation in the gut of many wildlife species, like fish, fowl, and even mammals.
There are some developing nations without the health and environmental safeguards in place of other larger first-world nations. This can lead them to not only participate in ocean dumping of plastics, as well as incineration. When plastics are incinerated, they release toxic, poisonous, and even deadly chemicals are released into our atmosphere. Fumes from burning plastics have been heavily linked to respiratory illness, many different types of cancers, and can even cause reproductive harm.
Even without burning, many plastics have now been linked to adverse health effects in adults. You can see this in the potential reproductive harm and potential cancers that are linked to plastics in the form of PFOAs and BPAs. These are seen more commonly in cheaper plastics that are sourced from nations without significant health or safety precautions in their manufacturing industries.
Why Saying No to Plastic Can Benefit Your Health & The Environment
Saying no to plastic has become a popular thing to do, but not in the same way that fads become popular. Many people are waking up to the reality of our climate crisis and the overwhelming contribution of plastic waste to that crisis. These people are then making the conscious choice to try to eliminate most, if not all, plastic from their daily lives. This can have incredible effects on your health, as well as the planet’s health.
When you say no to plastic, you are making the decision to eliminate many potentially harmful chemicals from your life. Shockingly, many of these chemicals are found in the packaging of your most beloved food and drink products. By cutting down on plastic, you are lessening the possibility that those chemicals are going to have an adverse effect on your health at a later date.
Another benefit is that by reducing demand, you are sending a clear message to companies that still support plastic use, that you do not support them. This may not seem like a lot on an individual basis, but when thousands and even millions of people stand up for what is right, companies will take notice, especially if it hurts their bottom line. This reduces the demand, and eventually the supply, meaning the environmental effects are lowered.
Companies That Support the “Say No to Plastic” Cause
Often, when people make the decision to cut down on plastic use, people become much more aware of what they are buying. This leads to much more healthy eating choices overall, as well as more familiarity with the companies that are making it a priority to keep plastic out of their manufacturing process.
Companies like Heart Water use a 100% recyclable aluminum bottle that can be reused and sold again in just 60 days. They have made a conscious decision to avoid plastics in their packaging, holding their company to a higher standard of production than others. They know that if enough people make the smart choice for their bottled water, the demand for plastic bottles can eventually reach zero.
If you are ready to drink water not only helps the environment but also benefits your body, as well, then the time to make the switch from plastic water bottles to reusable, aluminum water bottles is now. Get yours today and taste the difference that sustainable alkaline water can offer you.