Did you know that Americans consumed 13.7 billion gallons of bottled water in 2017? It’s a horrible habit that we need to stop. Not drinking water (it is great for us), but using plastic bottles and other plastics. In fact, not properly disposing plastic can harm the environment, animals, and can even hurt us.
How long ago did you drink a bottle of water? A day? An hour? Are you drinking one right now? Do you recycle? Research from www.greenpeace.com reports plastic that isn’t recycled ends up in our environment and oceans. Well, think; do you ever see trash on the ground of everyday places? That’s only the beginning of what’s in the oceans. How does plastic get in there? When people relaxing near the beach leave trash or plastic to “get-for-later” and leave it, the tide rises, dragging it to sea. Another way that plastic circles back into the environment it when the wind pushes it out of landfill.The harmful chemicals in plastic can end up polluting the water and can hurt animals that swim and those that drink it.
Animals living in the ocean and those flying over it die because of plastic. When an animal sees plastic floating in the water or on the surface, they assume fish is on the menu. Instead, they find a tasteless mouthful of plastic that they swallow. Once it gets inside the animal, the plastic stays there. The animal doesn’t think much of it besides a stomach-ache, but then it ends up killing them. Lovely animals like whales, seals, and sea turtles are killed because of the chemicals in the plastic and trash they consume. Nearly 100 million members of the marine life are killed every year because of plastic pollution. Even though the 100 million tons of plastic kill animals, can it do harm to us? The answer is a shocking yes.
When animals like fish eat the tiny plastics called “microplastics”, it doesn’t degrade like normal foods an instead remains inside them. The fish is caught and cooked, the plastic remains inside. Then, we eat the fish causing bits and pieces of the plastic they ate to get inside our bodies. The toxic chemicals that are in plastic, leak out of the plastic and may end up causing serious sickness like cancer. Nearly everyone has microplastics in their system. Just thinking about it makes me sick.
Did you know that we can end plastic pollution in the world? By limiting our use of plastic and relying on a different material, we can save our planet. Even if your attached to using plastic, be sure to properly dispose of it and recycle whenever you get the chance. It’s our job to end pollution one plastic water-bottle at a time.
By: Avey Schulz
Photo Credits: onegreenplanet.org