The "Clear" Menace

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The use of plastic bottles has become increasing popular in recent years. More than one hundred million plastic water bottles are used worldwide EACH DAY. The United States, alone accounts for nearly sixty million of these one hundred million mentioned. On average, one person uses one hundred and sixty-seven plastic bottles per year. Multiply that times the population of the planet, Earth, and the results add up to chilling numbers. The general population needs to begin taking advantage of the many alternatives to plastic bottles today's market has to offer! People are failing to realize the implications their use of these plastic bottles, let alone not disposing of them properly, are having on the environment.

 

Approximately eighty-six percent of all plastic bottles aren't recycled in the United States. This means that if we are polite enough to throw the plastic bottles away instead of litter, they are being sent to landfills. Roughly 1,500 bottles end up in landfills every second! It takes plastic bottles seven hundred years before they even begin to decompose. That is just the beginning! It can take all the way up to one thousand years for them to completely decompose. People who don't recycle are wasting valuable space within our landfills.

 

Scarier than not recycling the plastic bottles is the fact that a lot of people don't even bother to throw them away. Instead, he or she litters. Did you know that only twenty percent of garbage found within the ocean comes from sea activities? That means that the remaining eighty percent comes from land. The United Nations Environment Program estimates that out of every single square mile of garbage found within the ocean, there are 46,000 pieces of plastic floating around worldwide. Algalita Marine Research foundation recently did a study of six hundred and sixty fish that, on average, showed each fish contained more than two pieces of plastic. One fish was found to contain twenty-six particles of plastic. It has also been discovered that over eighty species of seabirds have ingested plastic. It is beginning to get so out of hand, that many researchers and environmental organizations are listing plastic as the number one threat to our marine life.

 

Realize the implications the use of plastic bottles, let alone not disposing of them properly, are having on the environment. Take advantage of alternatives to plastic bottles! Save marine life! Save the Environment!

 

References:

 

http://greenupgrader.com/3258/plastic-bottle-facts-make-you-think-before-you-drink/

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5279230/ns/us_news-environment/t/plastic-bottles-pile-mountains-waste/#.UM5JrKXd7dk

 

http://www.unep.org/search.asp?sa.x=0&sa.y=0&sa=go%21&q=plastic&cx=007059379654755265211%3Ajkngxjgnyii&cof=forid%3A11

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2 Comments

As you've seen, I've written an article about all plastics and specifically the horrifying effect it has on marine life. Seeing your article and now knowing exactly how many water bottles in particular are used each year is such a scary thought now that I know that plastic never goes away. In the ocean, these plastic water bottles that we do not dispose of properly become "plastic dust" that can then STILL poison and harm the sea creatures every day. On a note other than just plastic- did you know that there is a such thing called the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch"? The fact that we do not dispose of plastics and trash properly has accumlated over the years into this moutain of garbage in our ocean is horrifying. Most of the garbage in this patch is PLASTICS which is why I think its hugely important that you brought to light how much we use each year in plastic water bottles and proper ways to go about limiting this.
All it takes is a very inexpensive water bottle that you can continue to refill to save ourselves from using so many plastic water bottles each year. Or you can buy one of those reusable grocery bags so less plastic bags are being used in grocery stores nationwide. Most stores even give you benefits for using things! Over all we SERIOUSLY need to cut down on our consumption of plastic.

I think this post is really important to everyone! I know all of us, including myself, is guilty of using plastic water bottles. I used to be a major offender. Water bottles provide convenience that we choose far more often than taking that extra 3 minutes to fill up a reusable water. Many people don’t know the negative components that come with plastic. Plastic is highly toxic and unlike a lot of other materials, such as wood and paper, is not biodegradable and does not break down. I think this nation needs to start making major strides in finding alternative, more reusable alternatives to all plastic products. I honestly had no idea about the amount of trash that is currently floating around in the middle of the Pacific Ocean until very recently, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that is in the dark on this issue. The majority of the trash floating around out there is discarded plastic products that break down into microscopic, toxic plastic particles that float around in the ocean and get in the water and digested by microscopic organisms that make up the bottom of the food chain. Therefore when these organisms begin digesting toxic plastic and mutating, that in turn makes its way to us through the food we eat! There are so many other alternatives when it comes to plastic. Why add on to the already overfilling landfills and pollution with plastic water battles when reusable bottles, and better yet reusable glass bottles, available that can save us money and help our environment? Stopping the use of plastic water bottles is just the start. We need to start weaning ourselves off of plastic and begin embracing more nature-friendly products. Take children’s toys for example. Instead of plastic dump-trucks and blocks, why not invest in some good quality wood toys that will both sustain over time and not be detrimental to our precious environment. We need to start waking up to the harsh reality and make some changes NOW!

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