Plastic Pollution

Reducing Plastic use is easier than we think. We can use our own refillable water bottle whenever we travel, go to conferences, riding our bikes, or just out and about.

When we go to a coffee shop we can check that the shop will use our own mug or cup we bring and we can ask for no stir sticks , or straws when ordering cold drinks.

I try to use reusable containers when needing to bring lunches on the road rather than using plastic bags. I have one that has a few separate compartments and it allows me to be creative with arranging lunch items.

I believe that a lot of plastics enter our oceans from our own streets. The straw gets tossed on the road, or the plastic wrapper, and then the rains move those plastics into the storm drains, into our streams, rivers and then out to the oceans.

Plastic pollution is estimated to amount to 19-23 million tonnes of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems every year, polluting lakes, rivers, and seas[2]. This pollution can disrupt habitats and natural processes, including reducing ecosystems' ability to adapt to climate change[3].

Plastics are persistent pollutants that can persist in the environment for hundreds of years[4]. Plastic debris, such as bottles, straws, containers, and plastic wrap, have been found in various environmental niches, from mountaintops to the ocean depths[4]. This pervasive presence of plastic in the environment poses threats to wildlife and ecosystems. Marine species are particularly vulnerable to plastic pollution, with entanglement and ingestion being common hazards[5].

Moreover, plastic pollution can impact the global carbon cycle and climate change. Research suggests that microplastics can affect the ability of marine microorganisms to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, potentially impacting the ocean's role in carbon sequestration and oxygen production[1].

It is important to address the environmental impact of plastic by adopting measures to reduce plastic waste and promote recycling and proper waste management practices. Efforts to develop and promote sustainable alternatives to plastic are also crucial in mitigating the environmental impact[2].