Try to dedicate a day, or even a few hours, to observe what surrounds you at home, in stores, in the office, at the supermarket. How many plastic objects are you able to count? A very difficult operation. Plastic is indistinctly used in every sector and, unless we intentionally pause to observe the scale of the phenomenon, we don’t even notice that.
We got used to it. Everything seems perfectly normal, but it is not at all, because plastic, as we know, isn’t a biodegradable material. Human beings, unfortunately, haven’t been far-sighted in relation to a phenomenon that brought to such a serious situation that couldn’t be fixed in the short term, and so widespread and rooted that we cannot have, even with our best efforts,a 100% sustainable lifestyle.
What we can do for now is trying to considerably reduce the use of this harmful and dangerous material that, once introduced in the environment, comes back to us in the form of food. Yes, it is, actually: the more plastic we buy the more we will have on our plates.
That’s the famous food chain: plastic reaches the sea, fishes ingest it and consequently we do te same. A factor of greater risk is represented by crustaceans as, unlike fishes, they aren’t deprived of the digestive system before we eat them.
Think about the fact that from the 50s until the first decade of 2000s, the global plastic request passed from 1 million and a half tonnes to over than 280 millions tonnes. Plastic waste coming from earth constitute about the 80% of all the plastic debris that can be found in the marine environment.
It consists of macroplastics, pieces of plastic of big dimensions, and microplastics, that are microscopic fragments that directly enter the sea – through cosmetics and synthetic fabrics machine washings – or detaching by erosion or degradation from bigger dimension plastic debris.
Water treatment plants are able to trap macroplastics and various fragments, however a large portion of microplastics manage to overcome this filter system and reach the sea.
Another worrying problem, that is a consequence of the fact that microplastics have been recently discovered, is represented by the lack of data on their long-term effects on human health.
What can we do? The ways to use less plastic are many and, luckily, always more. On the web we can access to several information showing new ecological solutions: bulk products, bambou toothbrushes, ecosustainable garments, natural cosmetics.
Unfortunately, it’s known, having thousands of things to do every day, it’s not easy to add new habits. Change is not an easy process, it involve a constant attention towards what we’re doing – some gestures have been automatics for years – and maybe even renouncing to some kind of comforts , as could be the one of water plastic bottles of water. But it is necessary that each of us moves as much as possible towards a sustainable lifestyle, for our health and for the planet’s, even starting with just a little thing, such as the choice to drink water in glass bottles. Think that the plastic bottles bought in Italy per year are 11 billions and only the 10/15% is recycled, the rest is burnt in incinerators or released into the environment, especially in the sea.
It’s our individual choices that make the difference, also because if we create a different type of market demand also the offer will consequently improve.