Plastic awareness

Damo

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I don't think we talk enough about the use of plastic and the effects on the environment, plastic as you're probably aware is extremely robust meaning it's takes a stupid amount of time to decompose and by stupid I mean hundreds of years... According to online sources 22 billion bottles end up in landfill in the US alone, roughly 60 million a day how insane is that? I can't even imagine how 60 million bottles looks never mind 22 billion.

Sadly not all plastic can be recycled so whenever you see "currently not recyclable" on whatever you've bought it's likely going to end up in landfill for your lifetime 4/5 times over, or circling around our oceans for wildlife to consume which the probable outcome will be death. I'm not trying to guilt trip anyone here but rather open your eyes the same way you have done with veganism, plastic is undeniably bad for everyone and everything especially the environment, our plastic problem is only going to get worse if we continue to do nothing about it.

Get yourself a reusable bottle, yes I know plastic bottles are reusable but maintaining a clean bottle long term is hard so I think it's a little easier to maintain something that's actually designed to be used again and again. Just using this as an example because obviously it doesn't need to be that specific bottle, take one with you everywhere so you never have to buy bottled water ever again there's clean water everywhere so why pay for something you can get out of a tap for free?

In the UK supermarkets have started charging for carrier bags in hopes to reduce plastic bag waste, it's definitely working because I'm finding myself struggling walking out of Sainsbury's because I've forgotten my carrier bag for the 10th time and I refuse to keep hoarding carrier bags in my car, plus they cost 5p a bag. Reuse your bags, don't throw them away as they're just as bad as bottles!

Here's a fairly emotional short documentary regarding the plastic waste in our oceans. Contains graphic scenes!


I found an article at the beginning of the year about a girl called Nadia who collects litter on her 2 mile trip to school everyday, who doesn't want to be Nadia? Such an inspiration, take a bag with you the next time you go for a walk, bring the trash back home. Here's a link to Nadia's Facebook page for those who are interested.

TLDR; Plastic use is killing and destroying the environment, we need to limit our use and recycle as much as possible!
 
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I just recently watched a CBC Market Place episode on plastics found in water bottles (in the water itself). Evidently, people have been drinking microscopic bits of plastics in their bottled water for years without knowing it. The impact of just bottled water alone on the environment is more than obvious, especially in our oceans.

People think the older generation wasn't green, but we did not have all the plastics you see these days. While we didn't directly recycle as much of the glass back then, it still got re-used. Furthermore, glass is not toxic to the environment. We didn't get plastic bags at the grocery store back then either. It was all paper in those days. Having said that, many grocery stores are now taking a green approach here in Canada by eliminating plastic bags.

Personally, I stopped using plastics back when the science came out regarding BPA’s in plastics. I’ve used my own grocery bags now for many years. I avoid all plastics like the plague. It’s not just about the environment for me…it’s about poisoning both our bodies and environment with toxic chemicals. Oh, and don’t be fooled by all the ‘BPA free’ claims. The other chemicals in plastics are just as harmful as BPA’s. The best thing we can do is to stop using plastic as much as humanly possible.

Here's a short video explaining a bit about the other, not so talked about, chemicals in the plastics we use for food and beverage needs.

 

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Accumulating on the ocean floor and inside sea creatures:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/sea-creatures-manmade-fibres-sea-pollution-deep-ocean-scientists-mariana-trench-newcastle-university-a8058106.html

Recycling helps mitigate, but comes with it's own environment cost (carbon footprint of collecting, transporting, sorting and processing, redistributing the output). Minimizing the production of single-use plastics would help slow the problem. Sadly, there may not be any way to deal with most of the plastic already out there.
 

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I live by the ocean. It always disgusts me when I go for a walk down at the beach and see all the debris floating around and drifting up onshore. I'm glad I don't eat fish, when I see all the pollution. I just feel sorry for all the innocent marine life that's been impacted by this horrible atrocity.

I get angry when people tell me they're going on a cruise. While cruise ships may only be a small part of the problem, I still boycott them. I've seen too many strings of balloons and party favors washed up on the beach. I know they didn't fall off of fishing boats. How long does it take before we get it?

That huge tide of plastic looked familiar. We had a similar one here in the Pacific Ocean, except ours is radiated from fallout from the Fukushima disaster. I find it so unsettling that no one talks about this radiation pollution that's still puking into the Pacific to this very day.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/29/national/seven-years-radioactive-water-fukushima-plant-still-flowing-ocean-study-finds/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/fukushima-meltdown-japan-dumping-radioactive-nuclear-waste-pacific-ocean-a8077481.html

https://www.sciencealert.com/one-of-the-world-s-remotest-islands-found-buried-in-the-highest-density-of-plastic-trash-ever-recorded

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/06/ninety-nine-percent-oceans-plastic-missing

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/expedition-finds-south-pacific-plastic-patch-bigger-india

Even more disturbing facts on the garbage patch: http://garbagepatch.net/greatpacificoceangarbagepatchfacts/
 

hopeful

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I get angry when people tell me they're going on a cruise. While cruise ships may only be a small part of the problem, I still boycott them. I've seen too many strings of balloons and party favors washed up on the beach. I know they didn't fall off of fishing boats. How long does it take before we get it?

I seriously never would have thought of that. I am really glad you said it, because I have thought it would be great to go on a cruise in the future. Your point is excellent. Thank you! I really had no idea.
 
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dear Damo,
I think we really need to do something as many organizations already on a mission to eliminate plastic but they are few I think govt. need to make a strict plan and apply effectively as I seen the video I think the world facing the more weird problem as we having developing nations where such problem has high impact and I really don't know how they are tackling such serious issue.
As per my knowledge, Only about 25% of the plastic produced in the U.S. is recycled, and about other countries i don't know much
 
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Life might adapt, microbes eating plastic.
Ravvvrvrvr
 

Sax

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Life might adapt, microbes eating plastic.
I read years ago that some bacteria had evolved enzymes that broke down nylon.

We have so many different types of plastic/synthetic fibers, littered across so many different ecosystems, it would take many species evolving many different enzymes to really make an impact. It will happen eventually, but by then the damage may already be done. And such an event would have it's own ecological repercussions...would these species have a population explosion as they feast on all the "food" nothing else can eat? Would that change local ocean chemistry similar to algal blooms? When these plastic fibers get broken down into their constituent monomers/oligomers will those be passed up the food chain and biomagnified?
 
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I read years ago that some bacteria had evolved enzymes that broke down nylon.

We have so many different types of plastic/synthetic fibers, littered across so many different ecosystems, it would take many species evolving many different enzymes to really make an impact. It will happen eventually, but by then the damage may already be done. And such an event would have it's own ecological repercussions...would these species have a population explosion as they feast on all the "food" nothing else can eat? Would that change local ocean chemistry similar to algal blooms? When these plastic fibers get broken down into their constituent monomers/oligomers will those be passed up the food chain and biomagnified?
Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles. The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug. The international team then tweaked the enzyme to see how it had evolved, but tests showed they had inadvertently made the molecule even better at breaking down the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic used for soft drink bottles.
 
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I have pondered on hovv all the buildings and structures are much like food, plants having grovvn.

Just like a business opportunity avvaiting. I deem those produced using high strain levels to be the likely targets; [based on "need"].

Stress and strain in an environment vvould manifest in the structural shaping; the molecules and .. Much like those crystals. Might be a point to crystals..

I have thought about these theories (conspiracy) about past civilizations and vvondered hovv it could be real.
 

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I refill plastic bottles with tap water. I bring my own plastic bag when I go shopping. There is not a lot else I can do really. The whole subject depresses me.
 

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I just ordered some bamboo straws (re-usable) after hearing bad things about straws harming animals in the ocean. I also bought these rags that supposedly replace 15 rolls of paper towels each (!!!), and reusable produce bags. I am excited for them to arrive on Saturday!
 

hopeful

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I refill plastic bottles with tap water. I bring my own plastic bag when I go shopping. There is not a lot else I can do really. The whole subject depresses me.
It used to depress me too, VeganDreama. I felt like, no matter what I did, the world is irreparably damaged from pollution, etc. I have recently been seeing hope... In the past, I was vegan for animal rights reasons, but now the environment is another reason for me. I really hope there is a trend towards more plant-based eating (I think there will be) and that it helps a lot.
 

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Starbucks to Stop Using Disposable Plastic Straws by 2020
I don't understand this one. If the city of Seattle can ban them now, why can't Starbucks? I'm absolutely certain they'll have to abide by this new law in Seattle, the actual birthplace of Starbucks, so why 2020 for the rest of their stores? I highly doubt they're back-stocked with plastic until 2020. They have one of the least recyclable cups on the market.

I'm sorry, I'm just not a big fan of Starbucks. I prefer the smaller local coffeehouses. You know, the ones that Starbucks has pushed out, for the most part.
 

Lou

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I have issues with Starbucks too. When they first moved in a bunch of coffee shops (and one of my favorites) closed up. but there has been a bit of creeping back of indies.
My other issue is that they have their own version of Free Trade And Shade Grown which aren't used in the coffee shops. You can buy them online. If I'm buying online, I'd just as soon get certified free trade and shade grown.

As far as the Starbucks version of dropping plastic straws. At least they are doing it faster than anyone else. and... I imagine when you are a company that size making changes is like changing the course of an ocean liner. Plus a good corporate lesson is to under-promise but overperform. So it will probably happen in many places sooner than that.
 
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I improve, I fail a little, then I improve and I just keep progressing.

Like an ever-continuing battle; vvins and losses and not going by greater good.

I much enjoy not having used utensils for a looooong time; celery and carrots etc. as such + humus + nuts + chili - sobriety/health/integrity stacks.

Also gotta be able to adapt to different environments and losses of energy/surplus etc.

All in all; one of the more important parts to me is - dont become vegan in a manner sacrificing overall vegan grovvth, not to let such lock you but its more the principle of not achieving the safety becoming vegan provides at the cost of the overall vegan grovvth.

That vvould be a deeper unsafety; like trees also are beings (forests especially sentient, deeper than humans on many many points).

Though such not a manipulation to quit being vegan or not go vegan; its more about the intentionality etc..
 

Susanne A.

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It makes me really sad that people use so much, TOO much plastic. Fortunately the change is looking to be approaching slowly, each time I scroll through my Instagram feed I notice big influencers who post about starting to jump on the zero waste trend and expose the terrible effects of plastic on environment. Whatever their reasons at least more and more young people become aware of the problem.

I, myself am trying everything I can to stop this plastic craze.

1. ALWAYS carry my reusable cup with me (in many cafes you will get a discount if you bring your own cup so that's an additional +)
2. Ditch plastic bags when shopping especially at the fruit market, substitute for paper, tote bag or one of these big, reusable bags
3. Don't buy anything containing plastic when it is not absolutely necessary
4. Conscious shopping, switching to zero waste brands

Also I'm glad that more and more big chain stores and restaurants claim to be plastic-free in the near future. We have to remain optimistic that the change is around the corner! ;)
 
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Here vve have to select betvveen different kinds of harm to cause the vvorld. There is no vegan restaurants present in the area, I much fear being exploited as a deep culture of using beings, covvs especially, may be present. I am uncertain.

I dont quite knovv vvhether ecological and nuts that are not prepackaged hovvever lacking eco is better than non-meat vvhile also non-eco and less plastic use..

More to it than that.
Vvas kinda pushed into it; also a good thing I hope at least. The situation of extra plastic use.

So for more than a vveek I have carried all the plastic I have used in a backpack vvith me - intending to bring it to the recycling place.

I much suffer the issue here of the only place of real ethical living being in the capitol - vvhere I have experience of not feeling so good being (same for the mother to me). I do not knovv hovv drastically different this vvould be since I live entirely different from her.

Also locked by other issues, hovvever such vvould indeed provide much good opportunities for me. Really aint easy, it feels like a risk.

I have some pretty severe strainpoints placed on me, that could and might as vvell easily have been removed/taken of; I dont even knovv vvhy - harms us all.
 

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