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Plastics & Pollution January 3, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, Sustainable Living.

We need to do more to protect our oceans and marine life from plastic.

Right now, the Great Pacific Plastic Patch is twice the size of Texas.  When plastic degrades, it leaches carcinogens and other toxins into the water which then enter the human food chain when consumed by sea life (including sushi).

If you’ve decided to cut back on your reliance on plastic, here are a few tips to consider:

*Stop using disposable plastics, including straws and plastic cutlery.  If you use them, wash and re-use them.

*Take reusable shopping bags to the grocery store.  Plastic bags top the list of ocean debris and can last for centuries.

*Recycle plastics whenever possible – follow your recycling guidelines.

*When dining out, bring foil or containers for leftovers and stainless steel straws for your beverages.

*Buy from manufacturers who package products in sustainable containers.  Encourage other manufacturers to follow their lead.

*Purchase clothing and household lines from natural and sustainable fibers, including bamboo.

*Learn more at plastic-pollution.org ~> spread the word!

Aah . . . that’s better!



1. rivergirl1211 - January 3, 2019

Plastic is the evil P in this household, and is used sparingly then recycled here.

nrhatch - January 3, 2019

Good girl. Same here.

We reduce ~ reuse ~ recycle ~ repurpose as much as we can, but it is tough to eliminate unless you want to grow ALL of your own food, make your own shampoo and conditioner, etc.

rivergirl1211 - January 3, 2019

Yeah, that’s not happening! But we try to do what we can…

nrhatch - January 3, 2019

Exactly! I buy shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, moisture lotion, etc. . . . and it all comes packaged in plastic. At least most of the plastic packaging is recyclable.

I remember when Prell came in glass bottles.

2. Val Boyko - January 3, 2019

Good post Nancy. In Europe, you are expected to bring your own shopping bags. If you forget, then you must buy a plastic bag in the supermarket. Even the check out person frowns when you do that!
In the US, is it an infringement on my rights, or the right thing to do? I wonder what the plastic industry lobbyists would say. 😉
The only thing we can control is what we can control!

nrhatch - January 3, 2019

I wish stores around here would start charging for plastic bags to encourage shoppers to bring their own. We are pretty good about remembering to bring our own bags to the supermarket.

And Publix has a recycling station for plastic bags, foam trays, etc. Every little bit helps.

Val Boyko - January 3, 2019

Every little bit goes a long way. Publix is a good example of good fresh produce, and doing what’s right. Thanks Nancy 💛

3. Rainee - January 3, 2019

We have a plastic bag ban here in West Australia too. Retailers can be fined $5000 if they don’t comply. I am getting used to carrying some reusable bags with me now. It is a big issue.

nrhatch - January 3, 2019

It is a huge issue, especially when marine life dies unnecessarily due to mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish, etc.

We are now implementing a ban on plastic straws. It’s progress.

4. Jill Weatherholt - January 3, 2019

Great reminder, Nancy!

nrhatch - January 3, 2019

Thanks, Jill. The more cognizant we are of the impact of plastic, the more likely we are to solve the issue of plastic pollution.

I did read an article recently about someone who is working on a solution to clean up the Great Pacific Plastic Patch. I’ll have to see if I can add a link.

5. Kate Crimmins - January 3, 2019

When I was a kid, my mom used a brown paper bag with an old folded newspaper in the bottom for the trash can. The newspaper absorbed any liquids that may get in there and it worked just fine. Somehow we moved to plastic that doesn’t degrade at all. I’d love to see the brown bags used again.

nrhatch - January 3, 2019

Especially if the brown bags are made of paper from sustainably forested trees . . . or, better yet, bamboo!

6. Tippy Gnu - January 3, 2019

You forgot about banning plastic surgery. Maybe hospitals should be like supermarkets and require patients to bring their own plastic to their operations.

nrhatch - January 3, 2019

I just saw a segment on the “news” about a woman who spent $25,000 on 9 procedures so that she could look like . . . Ivanka Trump! I have not read about anyone spending even $0.25 to look like her dad. 😛

Tippy Gnu - January 3, 2019

That’s crazy. I’m wondering if she’s trying to look like Ivanka Trump in order to seduce the President.

nrhatch - January 3, 2019

Eww! 😛

7. colonialist - January 3, 2019

Look on the bright side. The GPPP will get consumed by humans who will die and thus reduce the amount of plastic being demanded. So where’s the problem?

nrhatch - January 3, 2019

Yup ~> humans go extinct. Problem solved.

8. L. Marie - January 3, 2019

Great post, Nancy!
Not to keep bringing up the movie Aquaman (though I seem to lately), but ocean pollution was one of the strong messages of the film.

nrhatch - January 4, 2019

That’s the sign of a good movie ~> staying power! And it obviously got you thinking. Thanks for sharing.

9. William D'Andrea - January 4, 2019

For the past year, where I live on Long Island, east of New York City, retail establishments have been required to charge customers five cents for each plastic bag they use, to encourage people to bring their own bags. What I’ve been doing is carrying tightly folded, old plastic bags in my coat pockets. I dispose of them occasionally, whenever they wear out, and get new ones for five cents. I think it’s a good idea. So far, I haven’t heard any complaints.

On thing I do object to, was reported on the News about a year ago. A law was being proposed in California, in which any waiter or waitress who gave out a plastic straw, without being asked, would be fined $1,500, and possibly face six months in jail.

After hearing about that I thought, “There goes the waiter and waitress vote, along with every restaurant worker’s vote, along with every restaurant customer’s vote, along with all the employees and customers of any and all retail establishments in California, votes.”

I didn’t hear or read anything about that law being passed, or rejected.

While protecting the environment is necessary, our political leaders shouldn’t be treating us citizens as enemies who deserve to be punished.

nrhatch - January 4, 2019

Good point! Let’s work TOGETHER!

10. roughwighting - January 4, 2019

GREAT suggestions here, Nancy. I was so happy when I lived in CA and they banned plastic bags in stores. Then I moved to MA and they did the same one year later. Hmmm, maybe I should move to a few more states so their laws will ban plastic bags too? (Nah, I’m not moving one more box, even for the environment). ;-0

nrhatch - January 5, 2019

Haha! You have a positive impact on your surroundings, for sure! Like you, I’ve lived in enough different states (and moved enough times) for this lifetime.

11. Debra - January 4, 2019

Absolutely! I am with you on this. I hope to post something before too long about some local exposure to the topic that has recently challenged me. It isn’t easy to avoid plastics, since they’re everywhere, but we can all make small changes. We still have straws in California. There are some places that have stopped providing them, but it’s not a state law at this point. Food servers are not in danger! LOL! There is a lot of conversation and an attempt to change habits. And zoos, as an example, don’t provide straws. That’s just a common sense change, I think.

nrhatch - January 5, 2019

Change can be difficult, but in retrospect we often see that it wasn’t quite as difficult as we thought it would be.

I look forward to your post, Debra.

12. Small Change - February 12, 2019

Great article about a very pressing issue! While the practices you describe go a long way toward reducing the amount of plastics going into our oceans, the onus really is on the companies that mass produce plastics to cut back. The recent spate of bans on plastic straws is a start, but it is simply not good enough. Great job communicating the problem!

nrhatch - February 13, 2019

Agreed! Until we put the health of the planet ABOVE profits, greed, and politics, we are drawing the short straw!

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