The Problem of Plastic

 Let's talk about plastic

So what really was that 0.50 Php worth? If it wasn't obvious enough, by the way, plastic straws are really bad (and we are definitely not selling it), so if you don't stop using them today, you can leave. Kidding! It is April Fools after all. If you're curious as to the real cost of a plastic straw and what you can do, read on my fellow advocate!

First off, let's focus on the plastic straw. It is a single-use plastic that is created in 20 minutes, used in less than 5 minutes, but takes 300-500 years to "degrade" (that means become it's tiny equivalent called microplastics).Once you dispose of it, it's not the most enticing thing to recycle, because it's really light, so it ends up in the landfill, or unceremoniously disposed in our oceans. 

Image result for plastic straw in ocean

Okay, so it's in a landfill, or floating somewhere in the pacific. So what?

1. If it's somewhere it shouldn't be, there's a huge chance, it will end up somewhere else where it also shouldn't be. For example, you can easily find these nowadays in the bellies of our fishes, or stuck up a nostril of a sea turtle. Essentially sentencing them to death. 

Image result for turtle straw

2. It affects vulnerable communities through any of the following: flooding, due to clogged waterways; health issues, due to stagnant water from flooding; and lastly, livelihood loss, due to to a reduced fish catch, or simply the inability to work due to the two earlier reasons. 

coastalpollution1

3. And if that's not enough, it all goes back to you. Put it simply, when a fish eats plastic, they end up absorbing some toxins, and when you eat it, that goes into your own system as well. 

However, the problem isn't as simple as that. Plastic does have it's benefits, from medicine, to commerce and a whole lot of other things will no exist today, had it not been for plastic. But see that's the thing, all of the problems above are not solved by banning or eliminating plastic, it's solved when people start changing. 

We move away from convenience, and start thinking about the impact we create every time we prioritize convenience over impact. 

Check out the links below on the things you can do to help reduce your impact! Either buy yourself a reusable utensil set or check out our partner NGO, SPS' initiatives that you can replicate in your own backyard!

Photo credits of straws and the turtle are that of Washington Post. Photo credit of the coastal community is that of the National University of Singapore.

 

SPS Website