The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
This week something amazing happened. Los Angeles has made a decision to phase out single use plastic water bottle sales by 2018.
Plastic is a great invention, however the reliance on disposable plastic use for human convenience is a negative thing.
For the last many years, when ever we travel or leave the house we bring our own water.
The running water in our houses in The Netherlands is clean and paid for. It’s convenient and easy to access.
Bottled water is expensive.
The Los Angeles story is written in more detail here.
The reason why I’m very pleased about the decision is simple.
The plastic pollution in our oceans is destroying the creatures that live there.
For me this is because we have learned to see plastic as better because it is convenient.
We throw it ‘away’ but there is no ‘away’.
We even use microbeads of plastic in facial cleaning products. They are almost invisible but when we wash them into the sink they make their way to the sea where they too can be ingested by creatures great and small.
There are often stories documenting the impact of plastic in the sea. Our plastic rubbish killed this whale. One hundred plastic bags were found in its stomach.
The Marine Conservation Society, who are always battling for improved awareness of human activity impact on marine environments has developed a Plastic Challenge; to give up single use plastic for a month. It’s a little like the give up fasts for Lent that some Christians undertake.
In particular plastic is ingested as food by marine creatures. They eat it.
The plastic waste that we allow to escape has accumulated in large quantities in the ocean. Ocean currents bring it into one place. It floats. This is how the pacific garbage patch was created.
Using less single use plastic is one thing we try to do on a daily basis. It is very difficult but with water there is no excuse.
It’s even suggested that tap water is safer than bottled water by some sources.
The true price of bottled water is also a negative but not just in terms of cost. The oil that is used to transport the water and make the bottles adds to the carbon footprint of this commodity.
The source of such water may be negative too and impact local populations.
So I’m extremely pleased about the LA decision because I hope it will raise awareness of this issue and encourage more people to carry water or a water container in their daily lives.
I also hope it will help large industry to consider the type of packaging they use so that it becomes easier to avoid single use plastic in the future.
Meanwhile, I’ll just fill a bottle at the tap!
Education Writer, Researcher & Policy Nerd.
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