How to avoid plastic and what is its real impact on the environment and health?
Avoiding plastic becomes more and more necessary. You have to stop it completely. Everyone can regulate plastic growth by avoiding it on a daily basis.
Plastic is everywhere. Bags, packaging, decorative objects and many more. It is inexpensive, economical and lightweight. It is not surprising that the majority of food manufacturers prefer plastic packaging. Yes, but we know all the dangers it generates. Plastic is not only environmentally friendly, but it hides many risks to our health.
Plastic does not only kill marine animals and ecosystems, but a myriad of studies show that it is dangerous for human health. These shocking data may encourage you to eliminate the single-use plastic. We all know that recycling plastic is important. But did we know its real impact on our health?
Avoiding plastic is not difficult. First step: say "goodbye" to plastic bags
The crisis of the "seventh continent of plastic"
Some time ago, we discovered a gigantic plate of about 3.5 million square kilometers of drifting waste in the Pacific Ocean, dubbed the "seventh continent of plastic". The situation of plastic is indeed much more serious than you thought. There is almost half of the single-use plastic that is not really recycled. This non-recycled half finds its place in the ocean. In the following lines we present some of the real dangers of plastic. And why is it important to rethink its everyday use?
Avoid the plastic to save the planet.
Why avoid plastic is really necessary?
If you take a look in your kitchen or office, you will probably notice that you are surrounded by plastic. There are countless examples: water bottles, take-away coffee cups, straws, plastic bags, food packaging and many more. These are all examples of single use plastic products, which is a hot topic nowadays and which is both based on concerns environmental and health.
It is certainly not realistic to eliminate the plastic of your life at 100%, but let 's look at some facts that might encourage you to reduce your single use plastic footprint by giving up straws and plastic bags. When you hesitate to take or not take a plastic bag at the checkout, think twice.
Plastic is popular
The popularity of plastic is evident today. Indeed, its production only began to increase in the 1950s. At present, 320 million tons of plastic were produced worldwide in 2015. And there is no sign of slowing down. At present, 10 tons of plastic are produced per second in the world.
And the environment?
"Every piece of plastic that has ever been created will remain in the environment in one form or another, but once we throw our garbage into our home, the wind and runoff will take away our trash from the dumps and the streets. the sewers and directly into the ocean " says Jennifer Flower, chief veterinarian at Mystic Aquarium.
"With an average American who dumps about 84 kilograms of garbage a year and produces more than 320 million tons of plastic a year worldwide, the marine environment is hit hard by the consequences of our daily elimination of plastic. Our consumption of plastic directly affects marine life in the ocean, including fish, which are also a major source of food for humans. Often our society strives so much to make our lives more convenient in the short term, but in the long run, our health and that of marine life are at the expense of these everyday conveniences. "
What production and recycling?
The annual production of plastic is about 335 million tons. About half of it is for a single-use product. This includes items such as plastic bags (which have an average life of 15 minutes), packaging, water bottles and straws. Traditional liquid laundry detergents are generally packaged in high density polyethylene. 68% of these bottles are not recycled. It's more than disturbing.
Companies such as Dropps are committed to reducing single-use plastic waste by offering laundry trays made from biodegradable herbal ingredients shipped in 100% recyclable and compostable cardboard boxes. Even the royal family is on the ecological trend. Did you know they banned plastic straws at Buckingham Palace?
BPA (or Bisphenol A) has been a chemical used in plastics since the 1960s. It is often in direct contact with food, including plastic packaging, kitchenware and can liners. and corks. Studies show that BPA interacts with estrogen receptors. It also plays a role in the pathogenesis of several endocrine disorders, including female and male infertility, precocious puberty, breast and prostate cancer, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). So there is a reason why you see so many products being marketed without BPA today.
Effects on children's health
A recent report reveals that the use of plastic containers to store or reheat food in the microwave could pose a potential health risk to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for reforms after a report suggested that some chemicals found in food coloring agents, preservatives and packaging materials could pose a risk to children.
Some food additives can disrupt hormones and increase the risk of childhood obesity. The artificial additives the most worrying? You guessed it: BPAs in plastic containers and metal cans. Parents are urged to avoid using microwaves to heat food. You should also avoid placing plastics in the dishwasher.
Megan Casper, MS, RDN, a dietitian and owner of Nourished Bide Nutrition in New York, says drinking beverages from cans containing BPA can increase blood pressure. In clinical trials, volunteers drank the same drink in glass bottles or cans. Two hours after consumption, the researchers measured their urine concentration in BPA and their blood pressure.
The levels of BPA in the urine were higher in the group of cans and their systolic blood pressure increased on average by 4.5 mm Hg compared to the group of glass bottles. Avoiding plastic is just one of 13 ways green living can make you healthier.
Early research suggests that BPA can damage the heart and arteries, causing disorders such as arrhythmias and atherosclerosis.
And new, hormones ...
BPA can also interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system, including serum levels of hormones that regulate metabolism. He's from more and more obvious that BPA could play a role in the development of obesity, both in the womb and later in life.
A new study has shown that BPA can have a negative impact on the reproductive system of women. It can also cause chromosomal damage, congenital anomalies and miscarriages. Researchers at Washington State University and the University of California, Davis, have found that monkeys exposed to BPA in utero have reproductive abnormalities that increase their risk of giving birth to offspring with Parkinson's disease. Down or even to undergo miscarriage. As you go a little greener to welcome a new package of joy into your home, refresh while using environmentally friendly cleaning products that home cleaning professionals trust.
Thyroid hormones, which regulate energy in the body, are also modified by BPA. In November 2016, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, published evidence linking BPA to autoimmune disorders of the thyroid (such as Hashimoto's disease). Laboratory tests measuring BPA exceeded measurable detection limits in 52% of those with high levels of thyroid antibodies. Toxic levels of BPA had caused an autoimmune attack of the thyroid gland.
Risk of diabetes
A report published by the US Endocrine Society indicates that exposure to chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system (EDC) - such as BPA - can increase the risk of diabetes. Group 2 diabetes, including.
A recent study shows that BPA has been associated with irritable bowel disease by negatively impacting the metabolism of microbial amino acids in the gut. Irritable bowel disease is a group of diseases that include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Exposure to BPA has also been found to increase the levels of several compounds that cause inflammation of the colon. Plastic is not the only pollutant that can affect your health. We must also use less paper ...
Large pieces of plastic break down into microplastics. A recently published study tested 259 water bottles from 11 brands sold in nine countries, including the United States. The results ? About 93% of those tested contained microplastic contamination, averaging 10.4 plastic particles per liter of water. That's double the plastic contamination found in tap water.
Of these plastic particles, 65% were "fragments" of plastic, including the plastic used to make the caps. Make the transition to reusable Gaiam stainless steel water bottles, which have no plastic parts. As an added bonus, their double-walled insulated design will keep your drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours. You will also avoid the rude habit of filling plastic water bottles - here's why you should never do it.
Heat and plastic
According to Harvard medical experts, when food is packaged in plastic - or placed in a plastic container and microwave - in the microwave oven, BPA and phthalates can seep into food. They note that migration will likely be more important with fatty foods, such as meats and cheeses. Experts advise using glass dishes and a lid to warm food in the microwave. Finally, it is actually better to completely avoid microwaves.
And the plastic shoes?
Wear the most fashionable plastic shoes this season? Yes, but at what price ? A study titled "Chemicals Up Close", conducted by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SNCC), shows that flip-flops and plastic shoes are rather a bad idea. They can expose you to long-term health problems. The Swedish company discovered that flip flops and plastic sandals had "disturbing concentrations" of harmful chemicals, including phthalates.
Even if you are not worried about the chemicals that get into your skin, there is also the environmental impact of producing that shoe model. Here's why, it's better to wear shoes made from natural materials. Indeed, it's the same with clothes. It is always better to prefer those made of natural materials. You do not realize, but synthetic materials are indeed plastic. We do not realize how plastic is present in our daily lives.
Avoid plastic by opting for a 100% recycled and 100% recyclable cardboard bottle.
Living near the water ...
"We associate peace, relaxation and good health to our shores"said Brian Yurasits, development director of the TerraMar project. The latter is a project on public awareness of ocean issues. MSN * researchers showed that people living near the water reported less psychological distress. "People visit beaches and waterways to satisfy our natural tendency to be near the ocean"Yurasits says. "If plastics become more ubiquitous in these natural places, people will not be able to get the same escape from reality and the stress relief they need. " It is not by chance that in Japanese gardens, there is always a source of water. The water calm and relaxes the mind. Avoid plastic to protect the oceans.
All plastic is not recyclable
Did you know that plastic bags, straws and coffee cups are not even recyclable? And yes. What is the problem of recycling a paper cup of coffee? The outside of the paper cup has a thin layer of plastic. This layer serves to protect against burns and prevent the cup from cooling too quickly. These two different materials must be separated manually or with a special machine. It takes too much time and is very expensive.
Biodegradable plastic does not really break down.
A study from Michigan State University shows that special additives that claim to break down polyethylene (plastic bags) and polyethylene terephthalate (plastic bottles) do not work as expected. Indeed, these products are left in common disposal situations, such as landfills or composting. "There was no difference between the plastics mixed with the additives we tested and those that were without"said Rafael Auras, co-author and professor of MSU. Here is another very good reason to avoid plastic everyday.
You see that avoiding plastic everyday is important. If each of us changes his habits, nature would be grateful to us. A life without plastic would be better for everyone. We must also think about the future, right? Changing your consumption habits is changing the future.
To start avoiding plastic, you have to change your habits.
You can see that there are many reasons and ways to avoid plastic in everyday life. By doing so, we are improving our lives, our family and the environment.
* MSN: Michigan State University