Single-use plastic has become a hot topic in recent years as people are making an effort to minimize the amount we use. Whether you have jumped on the reusables bandwagon or you are still using single-use plastics, we believe that everyone should learn a little more about this current issue. By understanding what the problem truly is, you may be more willing to make the switch and say goodbye to single-use plastics for good!
With the recent celebration of Earth Day, we thought it would be a good time to talk about single-use plastics, how they are affecting our home, and why we need to reduce how much we use. If you have already made the switch to reusable items, be sure to read on so that you can properly educate your friends and family! If you have not made the switch, read on so that you can understand why it truly matters.
At TeaZen®, we care about this planet and are doing what we can to help save it. Our mission is to make a positive impact and promote social change that improves conditions for humans, animals, and the environment. We sell green tea concentrates that are easy to add to water and enjoy throughout the day. We chose to sell a concentrate that can provide 60 servings as opposed to 60 individual bottles, reducing the amount of single-use plastic that our company produces. Plus, all of our green tea supplements come in glass bottles, which are recyclable, reusable, and reduce plastic waste.
We are doing our part and trying to get you to do yours! Read on to learn more about single-use plastics.
What Are Single Use Plastics?
First of all, we want to talk about what single-use plastics are. When you have a better idea of what these plastics are, you will have an easier time avoiding them and making the switch to reusable items. While it may seem obvious, single-use plastics are items that you use once before throwing it away or recycling it.
Some examples of single-use plastics include:
- Plastic shopping bags
- Plastic forks and knives
- Plastic coffee lids
- Plastics straws
- Plastic water bottles
- Styrofoam and plastic take out containers
These items can be hard to avoid sometimes, but if you make a conscious effort, you can reduce the amount of single-use plastics that you use daily. An article from Nature’s Path Organic mentions that according to the U.N. Environment, the most common single-use plastics that are found in the environment include:
- Plastic drinking bottles
- Cigarette butts
- Plastic bottle caps
- Food wrappers
- Plastic grocery bags
These are only a few of the items on the list, but you get the point. These items litter the ground throughout cities and nature, and they are hurting our environment. Now that you know what single-use plastics are and which of them are causing the biggest problem, we are going to take a look at why they are bad.
Why Are Single-Use Plastics Bad?
There is not just one single problem when it comes to single-use plastic. There are many issues that you need to be aware of. It isn’t just a pollution problem, these plastics are also negatively affecting human health as well. Let’s take a look at some of the many problems that single-use plastics are causing in our lives.
They Include Chemicals
A variety of chemicals are used in the production process of plastic. These chemicals, such as bisphenol A or BPA, can cause health problems. You may have heard about BPA and how it can be harmful in past years. This chemical is often used in beverage and food containers, but not all of the chemical is always sealed in the product, which means it leaches out into your food or drink. According to Food Revolution Network, packaged foods and drinks are the primary source of BPA exposure to humans.
But why is BPA bad? It is a known hormone disruptor and linked to several different diseases. Some of these include diabetes, asthma, cancer, infertility, low sperm count, liver problems, and ADHD. Even BPA-free plastics contain potentially harmful chemicals that can cause health problems. One study found that some BPA-free plastics contain synthetic estrogens, which were more potent than BPA.
You May Be Eating It
Yes, you read that right. Another problem with plastic is that some humans may be eating it. Thanks to the quantity of plastic that has found its way into the ocean, it is possible that you may be ingesting plastic. These plastics break down into what is called microplastics. Microplastics are plastic fragments that are less than five millimeters long. Fish and other invertebrates are eating these microplastics, small fish are eating them and then being eaten by bigger fish. When you eat fish, the tiny pieces of plastic, and the toxins associated with them, may be making their way into your body.
These plastics and the toxic chemicals that are used to manufacture them are also finding their way into our soil and water. These toxins can get transferred into animal tissue, which may eventually get eaten by consumers.
Humans are not the only ones being negatively affected by plastics. Animals can choke on food wrappers, straws, bags, and other single-use plastics. These items can also cause a block in an animal’s stomach. Dolphins and turtles often mistake plastic bags for food, which can cause them to choke and die or cause internal problems once ingested.
You may have seen the video that went viral showing a sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged up its nostril, which helped people realize how this piece of single-use plastic can harm the environment and those living in it. An article from Independent mentions that scientists predict that there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish by 2050.
Some Plastic Facts
Hopefully, you now realize why single-use plastics are a problem. They can harm humans, animals, sea life, nature, and the environment as a whole. We wanted to give you a few more quick facts about plastics that can open your eyes to why this is a problem that we need to start taking care of now! If we want to help save this planet, we all need to make changes as soon as possible.
- Most scientists estimate that eight million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year.
- There is already an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic currently in our oceans.
- According to Global Citizen, plastic production has more than tripled since the ‘90s.
- Half of the world’s plastic was made after 2003
- Humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute.
- Only about 23 percent of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S.
- Half a million straws are used in the world every day, but refusing straws is becoming a trend!
- Plastic has been found in more than 60 percent of seabirds and 100 percent of sea turtle species.
- Only nine percent of the world’s plastics are recycled.
These are only a few of the many facts about single-use plastics and how they are negatively impacting Earth. You can find some more facts from Earth Day Network. We truly hope that after reading these facts, you realize why it is important to reduce your use of single-use plastic.
At TeaZen, we care about this planet and the humans, animals, and environments that are a part of it, which is why we do what we can to produce less plastic waste. We hope that you join us in our mission to help save this planet.
While we may sell green tea concentrates, we are a company that cares about the world around us and what to do our part to make it better. Help us by making the switch to reusable, and by sharing this blog so that your friends and family can learn more about this issue as well. Be sure to stay tuned for our next blog. We will be talking about ways to reduce your single-use plastic consumption.
TeaZen is a company – your company — and we are a communiTEA™ of like-minded people who are passionate about “feeling good” and “doing good.” As a Public Benefit Corporation, our purpose is to promote social change that improves human, animal, and environmental conditions. That’s right – we care! Our mission is to create an inspiring e-commerce global social enterprise by providing valuable products and services while improving the world around us. High fives all around, people.