Are We Going to Survive the Plastic Age? What Can We Do?
It is clear the world we are living in right now has to change for us to survive. Our addiction to plastic has changed the way we live. It has already changed our planet.
There was once Stone age. There was once Bronze Age. Now, we are definitely living in Plastic Age.
Plastic bottles, plastic packaging, plastic toys, plastic straws, plastic cups, disposable cutlery, plastic cars, plastic carpets, plastic headphones, plastic clothes…
Here’s a plastic bag for your yoghurt that’s in a no-longer recyclable plastic container, with particles of plastic in the yoghurt too… And here, let’s double it up since you have so many veggies in clear plastic bags that a single bag might not hold… Those veggies have plastic too by the way… When home, put those bags into a plastic trash bag. You might assume you’ll never see them again…
Years back I flew back to Arizona from a trip overseas. And as I looked inside one of my shopping bags I left in my vehicle, I was surprised to find aa pile of white plastic ash. It turned out I had left a “single-use” plastic bag they give you with each purchase at any supermarket, convenience store, or a food take-out place. After a month or so in the Phoenix heat, it turned into almost powder. I was happy thinking heat was the solution to the plastic crisis in the world. I was too naïve… I soon found out that plastic does not disintegrate. It just turns into smaller and smaller pieces which are still plastic. Those smaller pieces turn into even smaller pieces. Even the tiniest microplastic turns into smaller nanoplastic. It is still plastic…
Particles of microplastic have now been found in the most remote pristine environments.
We all know about plastic in the ocean. So it’s there in the seafood we eat and sea salt.
Particles of plastic are there in bottled water. Some have more than others.
Plastic is there in our tap water with the US having the highest contamination rate in the world, 94%.
How much plastic do we produce? This is a great short video that shows us the scale of our addiction to plastic bottles.
Recycling? Does it help? I recycle diligently. But does everything actually gets recycled? China no longer accepts most of it. It now ends up in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand. How much of it really gets recycled? We don’t even know. Yet, even “proper” recycling process causes a lot of pollution – that is why China no longer wants the job.
Plastic is in the air we breathe. Plastic is now found in the bodies of animals in the ocean and on the land, including ourselves. Nanoplastic can pass through our entire bodies even passing the blood-brain barrier.
And it is not just plastic itself. As plastics pass through environment, all sorts of pollutants, chemicals, heavy metals and other toxins attach to it.
Our tires are made of rubber and… plastic. It is a huge source of plastic contamination.
Are there any people today who don’t own any clothes made of plastic? Nylon? Polyester? Acrylic? Polyamide? 64% of clothing made today contains plastic. What’s in the lint you remove after drying your clothes?
All of this is surely overwhelming. A lot of us will say, “Well, there’s very little I can do about it.” And I can feel this feeling of being helpless. But that is not how it is. We can start right here, right now where we are and do what we can. Our everyday choices matter. Collective shift begins with each person making an effort to reduce plastic pollution.
On the physical level we are made of the elements of the Earth – we are this Earth while we live on this plane.
Is it possible to disown the world we are a part of? It is like saying I don’t care what happens to my foot – I’m in my head most of the time.
How did we get here? The pollution we are producing is a reflection of how we are polluting ourselves as my friend Eos Yolanda says. It is such a clear reflection of the old paradigm. We are polluting ourselves when we choose profit over ethics, me against you, when we engage in hustling and stealing.
We are starting to realize that we are all in this together. No borders stop pollution. No differences can separate us from being all human. This is how we awaken to the New Paradigm and embrace it.
Let’s start caring about our children and the Earth they inherit from us, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren… Let’s take care of ourselves. And let’s start being conscious about plastic.
How Can We Reduce Our Plastic Footprint? How Can We Stop It?
- We can recycle. Plastic bags are recycled in many big stores now.
- Avoid getting disposable items.
- Avoid buying plastic things when possible. Do your research and vote with your dollar.
- Demand alternatives
- Do your laundry in a way that produces less of microplastic to end up in the air.
- Speak up.
- Talk about the situation. Look for solutions. Discuss with your friends and your community.
Post comments below. We’d love to hear your ideas.
Here at One Tribe Tours we no longer offer plastic bottles.
What do you do? What would you do?
We definitely could do a lot! For example, when having a big party, if you don’t have enough silverware, borrow some from your friend.
Let’s talk. Let’s raise awareness about the subject. And let’s do what we can. Let’s start however small we can. We have to start taking this issue very seriously. Let the healing begin!