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For the past seven years, we have focused on plastic pollution and it continues to be the impetus behind our work. Recently we have broadened our scope to “waste reduction”, although plastic pollution is a main emphasis. Why waste reduction? We all throw something away just about everyday. What if we didn’t? What if everything was considered a resource?
Petroleum. Plastic comes from petroleum, a limited resource (wars) and a dirty business (oil spills). Corn and bio-plastics are not real solutions since they, too, are resource intensive. Reduce, use products that are safe to Reuse. Repeat.
Ocean. Nurdles, the raw material in pellet form with which plastic things are made, plastic caps, bottles, bags and wrappers float and blow into the ocean, endangering marine life and our food chain.
Chemicals. So far PVC (#3 Plastic) and Polycarbonate (#7) have been discovered to contain chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BPA) that have been linked to several cancers and genetic damage in infants.
Forever. Does not biodegrade, only photo degrades into smaller and smaller pieces. Only 5% of plastics manufactured each year are recycled, but then it’s still plastic.
We can solve this puzzle. As citizens, we can stop the production of plastic by the types of consumer choices we make. Most environmental challenges can find solutions when we vote with our dollar. This is certainly one of them. Waste is a waste…and an opportunity for creative, healthy, local solutions!