How much disposable plastic do you throw away every day?
How many water bottles or drink containers? How many plastic bags? How many straws, caps, containers?
Do you shop green with your reusable totes but still use plastic bags for your produce? Do you buy single servings instead of bulk? Do you buy recycled content toilet paper in a plastic wrapping?
If you are doing what you can with obvious disposable plastic, do you know that some body scrubs, toothpastes and other beauty products contain small plastic polyethylene beads that are designed to be flushed to the environment?
Do you ever stop to think about all the plastic you consume and discard each day, each month, each year? And then multiply that by the number of people in the US? And then by the rest of the world? That’s a lot of plastic. A heck of a lot. Especially since it doesn’t degrade in any comprehensible time frame. In fact, every piece of plastic made in the last fifty or so years, except for the less than 1/2 percent that has been incinerated, is still around somewhere in our environment.
That’s right. Every single piece. And a whole bunch of it is clogging our oceans in giant plastic patches.
I’m sure you recycle. But recycling plastic is just downcycling – the plastic is still around, just put to another use, but just for the life of that product. It then usually can’t be recycled again. So a plastic bottle becomes a purse, and then the purse goes to the landfill.
Beth at FakePlasticFish is one of my favorite people. She has documented her journey to a plastic-free lifestyle at her blog, and continues to fight for reducing our use of disposable plastic. She spearheaded the succesful campaign to get Brita to recycle its filters. She is my no plastic Superhero. I always ask myself “What would Beth do” when I’m stuck.
So, when Oprah did her Earth Day episode, I was thrilled. Oprah had Fabien Cousteau as a guest, among others, to talk about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the largest landfill in the world), I thought of Beth. When Oprah had her epiphany about plastics, I thought of Beth.
So what did Beth do? She prepared a video letter to Oprah, explaining her journey, and asking Oprah to use her voice, her clout, to urge others to get rid of plastic. Her heartfelt, sincere story about her journey is well worth a watch. And, just perhaps, if enough of us talk about it, Oprah will hear, and, well, that could lead to amazing things for this Earth of ours:
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