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While watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine for the 99th time, I had an epiphany about the environment. The protagonist exclaimed, “I'm the smartest man alive. I’m never gonna die!”, and suddenly I looked at my plastic bag of popcorn and asked myself - does plastic ever die?
A quick Google search will show you that it doesn’t. Plastic is not biodegradable; rather, it takes a really, really long time to break down into smaller and smaller pieces of itself. Barry E. Gregorio suggests that “disposed plastic materials can remain in the environment for up to 2,000 years and longer.” Plastic also contains toxic chemicals that seep into the soil, infecting the water and the food chain. This means we are actively consuming these toxic chemicals, which can be linked to cancer, birth defects, impaired immunity, and other ailments. Plastic is poisoning the environment and everything in it.
I don’t know about you, but that scares me. Why make plastic if it doesn't die? Even the monster that Dr. Frankenstein built died at some point! Perhaps science will be able to develop a cure for plastic in the future. Until then, we can start by limiting plastic consumption, and opting for sustainable and/or compostable products where we can. The idea that a plastic bottle you buy today, will be on this planet longer than you will be alive, really is a worrying sign.
So what can you do? Choose to invest in a reusable water bottle or a stainless steel lunchbox instead of PET bottles and eating out. If we all do a little bit, we can stop the problem from getting worse. And if you need a bit of help on your plastic-free journey, check out our article that explains five simple ways to get started!
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