Earth Month: Plastic Pollution Part 1

Why we need to act now

Earth Day is officially celebrated on 22 April 2018 during Earth Month. This year’s theme is ‘Plastic Pollution’. As such a crucial topic and one that TerraCycle is heavily invested in throughout April during Earth Month, we will present facts and tips on how to deal with, and essentially help reduce, the problem of Plastic Pollution.

Throughout Earth Month, we will help you reduce the use of plastics, teach you how to recycle plastic properly and lastly, give tips on how to reuse or upcycle plastics. This week, we will cover some facts about, and general challenges with, plastic pollution.

Since the 1960s, plastic has been an accepted part of everyday life with the mass production, use and disposal of billions of bottles, bags, plastic packaging and other disposables. We have become dependent on plastic. Unfortunately, not all plastic is being recycled – far from it. 79% of the plastic waste ever created is still in our environment. Some of it ends up in the ocean and in nature, and the waste that is just thrown away, without being recycled properly, ends up burned or buried in landfills.

Plastic pollution has an impact on humans, animals, waterways and oceans, and the environment. Here are some eye-opening facts to clarify the extent of the harm plastic pollution causes worldwide:

o By the year of 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight.
o The human health is at stake because of the toxins plastic pollution convey. Even babies can be born pre-polluted.
o Plastic is a petroleum product and if we want to truly divest from fossil fuels, we must reduce our collective plastic footprint.
o Plastic pollution is able to cross borders. Even though the plastic doesn’t originate from the country you live in, you are still affected by the pollution it carries with it.

To reduce – and hopefully eventually get rid of – the problem of plastic pollution, we must all take part in making sure that petroleum-based plastic eventually becomes redundant. In the process of doing so, we must be aware of ways we can reduce our own use of plastics and be aware of the right way to recycle the plastic properly.

Tune in next week for tips on how you can reduce your use of plastic.

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