Reduce Plastic For A Healthier Planet and You

“Nothing on this earth lasts forever. Except maybe plastic.”

~ Patricia Dunn

One thing is for certain: in today’s world, it’s hard to imagine a life without plastic. From everyday items like paperclips, the clothes we wear, and the food we eat, to groundbreaking technology like spacecrafts – plastic is everywhere.

The staggering reality is that we’ve produced more plastic in the first 10 years of this century than in the entire 20th century!¹ Our insatiable appetite and dependence on this seemingly harmless and ubiquitous material has become the norm in our modern world. However, beneath its innocent facade, plastic is anything but harmless.

What Is Plastic?

While certain plastics like rubber originate from natural sources such as plants, the majority are synthetic substances derived from oil, petrol, and coal.

Known for their strength and flexibility, plastics can be easily molded or shaped to create a diverse range of products. From everyday items like shopping bags and eye glasses to toys, CDs, and even stretchy pants, plastic has pervaded numerous aspects of our lives.

Why is Plastic So Pervasive?

Plastic is very cheap, light, and versatile and makes everything waterproof.

After it’s processed, plastic becomes non-biodegradable, which means when buried in landfills, they sit in the earth for hundreds and thousands of years before they degrade. Some plastic never wear down; they simply break into tinier and tinier pieces.

Just imagine… the very first toothbrush you ever used is still sitting in a landfill somewhere!

Effects On Human Health

I thought I was helping the environment when I used to wash and reuse my plastic water bottles over and over again. It may temporarily have saved the landfills from burying another piece of non-biodegradable plastic, but in the long run, it was harming my health more than I knew.

And you could be as well if you’re reusing your plastic.

Numerous studies have shown that when additives in plastics such as phthalates and BPA leach into our food supply, are absorbed through our skin or inhaled into our bodies, can have profound toxic effects on humans including reproductive abnormalities, hormonal disruptions, neurotoxicity, cardiovascular diseases and cancer

Marine Pollution

First discovered in 1950, there is an area in the North Pacific Ocean called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Pacific Trash Vortex. It’s an enormous collection of floating plastic trash, sludge and debris that stretches from the West coast of North America to Japan. This massive area is said to measure more than three times the size of Spain and more than twice the size of Turkey or Texas.³

There is a similar patch of floating plastic debris in the Atlantic Ocean called the North Atlantic Garbage Patch.4

Most of this soupy debris comes from plastic bags, bottle caps, water bottles and Styrofoam cups. A majority of the debris, about 79,000 tonnes, comes from fishing nets. Over 50 percent of the plastic we produce is used only once then thrown away; over eight million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year. Scarier yet, a whopping 91 percent of plastic isn’t recycled.5

According to the Marine Conservancy, the rate of decomposition of most plastic debris found on the coasts is:

Foamed plastic cups: 50 years

Plastic beverage holders: 400 years

Disposable diapers: 450 years

Plastic bottles: 450 years

Fishing Lines: 600 years

Harm To Marine Life

In the ocean, the sun breaks down plastic into tiny bits of microplastic, which marine life mistake as food. Debris that traps or is eaten by marine animals fills up their bodies to the point of being fatal. Each year, millions of seabirds and thousands of marine life die from eating the plastic debris.

The threat is real.

Microplastics and other trash collected near the surface of the ocean also block sunlight from reaching the algae and plankton below, preventing oxygen and carbon from being produced. This in turn decreases the population of marine animals such as fish and turtles that feed on the algae and plankton.

Click here to learn 12 ways of how you can cut down your plastic consumption for a healthier you and planet.

Understanding The Numbers

I used to think that all plastics were recyclable. Afterall, isn’t that what the “chasing arrows” we see on plastic containers and products indicate? Nope. Not at all.

Don’t be mislead like I was. The number inside those arrows tells you what type of plastic the item was made from and whether it can be recycled. Some plastic are more harmful than others and are not recyclable or even reusable.

To learn what the recycling numbers mean, click here.

Plastics And The Future

Plastic is as ubiquitous as the air we breathe. Our over-indulgence and over-consumption of this material is polluting the air, water and food that we need to survive. It poses a serious threat to our health, marine life, the planet and future generations.

The global plastic waste crisis is real. If current trends continue, roughly 12 billion metric tons (about 35,000 times as heavy as the Empire State Building) of plastic waste will be in landfills or the natural environment by 2050.6

We need to not only Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – the common three Rs, but we need to add a fourth R – Refuse, especially to single-use plastics like plastic bags and bottles!

Ultimately, lawmakers need to stop choosing profit before health. We need to use our intelligent human minds to come up with better solutions for this huge problem we’ve created.

Each of us has the power to make a difference. By taking individual action and directing our attention towards the plastic problem, we can mitigate its harmful effects on our health and the world as a whole.

Let us lead by example, starting with a simple step: reducing our plastic consumption one bag at a time.

I’ve personally severed ties with plastic and moved on. It’s time for you to do the same.

Join me on this transformative journey towards a healthier, plastic-free world. Together, we can make a lasting impact.

Every little bit helps. Are you ready to say good-bye to plastic? What steps will you take to eliminate plastic from your life and help the planet?




1 Ditvoorst, Alex, et al. “What to Do with Plastic Waste?” Plastic Soup Foundation, Michiel   Roscam Abbing×142.Png, 17 May 2017,
2 Sedaghat, Lilly. “7 Things You Didn’t Know About Plastic (and Recycling) – National Geographic Blog.” National Geographic Blog, 4 Apr. 2018,
3 Loria, Kevin. “The Giant Garbage Vortex in the Pacific Ocean Is over Twice the Size of Texas – Here’s What It Looks Like.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 8 Sept. 2018,
4 Lovett, Richard A. “Huge Garbage Patch Found in Atlantic Too.” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 2 Mar. 2010,
5 Parker, Laura. “A Whopping 91% of Plastic Isn’t Recycled.” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 19 July 2017,
6 Hataway, James. “More than 8.3 Billion Tons of Plastics Made: Most Has Now Been Discarded.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 19 July 2017,