Things you should consider before buying plastic

It's everywhere. No matter if we just want to buy a coke, some food, a children's toy, everything is wrapped in plastic. Of course, I do see the advantages. It's light, and you can easily throw it away after usage. But wait, should throwing it away after usage really be our goal? Well, I'm not so sure...  PS: I also added some Youtube videos and would really recommend watching them, they are short and explain everything very well.

What to know before you buy plastic Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

plastic never biodegrades

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash
Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

One thing I've heard a lot about plastic is that it actually never decomposes. It really took me quite a while and some documentaries to realize what this really means. Because, even if the bits get smaller or it gets buried under the ground, every bit of plastic that was ever created still does exist in this world until today. I mean, imagine it, plastic has been around since 1907 and it still is being produced over a hundred years later. So consequently a lot of plastic is going around in this world already and it only becomes more. This means that today we have more plastic than yesterday, tomorrow we'll have more than today and the day after tomorrow even more and we'll never be able to get back to the amount we had a few days before. Of course, scientists are working on a solution of that problem and already found some bacteria that are able to decompose plastic. Still, there are huge amounts of plastic waste all over the world, so avoiding it as much as possible until a proper solution is found is highly recommended.

it harms marine life

A turtle in the ocean Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

You might have heard that one, too. A lot of plastic we don't recycle, or that isn't recycable actually ends up in this ocean. The plastic then circulates and create so- called plastic islands. These islands are enormous floating patches of plastic. Currently there are 5 existing plastic islands in the ocean, one of them is the "great pacific garbage patch", which currently has a capacity of around three times the size of France. Furthermore, a lot of the plastic is breaking down into small pieces and then ingested my marine life. Turtles, for example, who feed on this plastic feel full and will hence starve to death. Also, only a few bits of the ocean have been discovered so far, so one can only image, how man plastic is already laying on it's ground. 

it releases toxins

Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash
Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

One alternative to dumping the waste into the ocean is actually ( as mentioned before) burying it underground. Of course, to some this may seem like a reasonable way to get rid of plastic (putting it back to where it came from), but it doesn't quite work like that. Most of the other materials used by mankind do actually biodegrade when buried underground. The reason plastic doesn't is that the bacteria doesn't know this material and is not able to biodegrade it. Therefore, it just stays there and releases toxins which harm the nature around it. As you may realize, I'm really bad at explaining, so here's another video for you. 

So that's just some information about plastic I really wanted to share with everyone reading this. Please leave a comment if you have some additional things to say and make sure to tell me when I am wrong at any point. I would really encourage everybody to decrease their plastic waste and if you need a quick kick start I've got a list of things I'm going to change/substitute to reduce plastic here.

Last but not least, I have a little documentary recommendation for you. "A plastic Ocean" can be found on Netflix and for those of you who don't have it I even found the full documentary as a Youtube video. 

Write a comment

Comments: 5
  • #1

    Nidhi Saraf (meglobetrotter) (Monday, 30 July 2018 11:59)

    This was a very informative read. I am very passionate about not usinf plastic myself. Thank u.

  • #2

    Carrie (Monday, 30 July 2018 12:47)

    Thanks for your feedback @Nidhi Saraf :)

  • #3

    Zahra (Sunday, 12 August 2018 20:36)

    Down with single use plastic! So so unnecessary and damaging to the environment. I have yet to see that documentary on Netflix, but I'm definitely going to check it out now!

  • #4

    Shellbe (Sunday, 12 August 2018 21:35)

    Very interesting read, so happy New Zealand has made the move to ban single use plastic bags

  • #5

    Carrie (Friday, 09 November 2018 11:09)

    Yes, I agree! And it's interesting to hear that New Zealand has done that, makes me love it even more! The EU also recently decided that single use plastics should be banned by 2020! All those small changes make me really happy!:)