RACHEL FOX
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Poisonous Plastics

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I am passionate about saving the planet and in particular, saving the oceans. As someone who is lucky enough to go on holiday each summer with my family, I have come to appreciate the beauty of the sea and the expansive, magnificent underwater world. When I see images regarding this issue, I am distraught by the damage we are currently doing. Plastic being one of the main offenders.

However, it is not just the oceans we are damaging. Most plastics are made from petroleum or natural gas which are non-renewable resources that are extracted and processed using energy-intensive techniques that destroy fragile ecosystems.

The manufacture of plastic not only destroys the atmosphere by its process of burning, but also pollutes the air, land and water and exposes workers to toxic chemicals, including carcinogens.

Plastic packaging and plastic bags are a significant source of landfill waste and is regularly eaten by numerous marine and land animals, with obviously results in saddening consequences.

Synthetic plastic does not biodegrade which is why it accumulates in landfills or pollutes the environment. Although I am glad that local governments all over the world have implemented the plastic bag bans, I still see so many people buying plastics bags in every shop they make a purchase in. Yes it may be less hassle than remembering to put reusable bags in your bag, but people are oblivious to the consequences their purchases are having on their planet.

I also did not realised that plastic pollution may not even be visible to the naked eye. Research is showing that microscopic plastic particles are present in the air at various locations throughout the world and in all major oceans. Plastic is now appearing in our earth, water and airborne environments. In other words, it's everywhere.

Steps that I feel will really make a difference to the pollution we cause on a daily basis:

1. Reducing the use of plastic packaging e.g. by buying fruit and vegetables from farmers markets without bags, or opting for the food item with the least amount of packaging.

2. Using reusable products: bottles, bags, coffee cups, etc. These help to avoid unnecessary waste which can end up in the ocean.

3. Reducing the consumption of fish: it is said that we are set to wipe out all ocean populations by 2050.

Rachel

LifestyleRachel Fox