We've offered suggestions in the past
of things that you can do to reduce your reliance on single use
plastics. Here are three of our own tips that we will recycle:
- Get reusable bags for grocery shopping
- Save and recycle packing material
- Use biodegradeable lures rather than soft plastics
The best solution to single use plastics is, simply, not to use
them. Water bottles, plastic silverware and plates, plastic beer
cups, and the ubiquitous plastic bags...single use items, use 'em
once and they end up in the landfill...if we're lucky.
Plastics used in single use items tend to become brittle and break
into smaller pieces. Add a little bit of wind to the equation and
plastics find their level. Often, this is in a body of water. Maybe
your local impoundment, maybe the ocean. When that happens, you
get bite-sized chunks that wildlife and fish often mistake for food.
Quite honestly, a good deal of the evidence indicating that wildlife
mistake plastics for food is anecdotal. But, when the anecdotes
start adding up, they are hard to ignore.
In a recent Marine Turtle Newsletter, for example, Collette Wabnitz
and Wallace Nichols noted that "...relief of gastrointestinal
obstruction of a green turtle off Melbourne beach, Florida, resulted
in the animal defecating 74 foreign objects over a period of a month,
including four types of latex balloons, different types of hard
plastic, a piece of carpet-like material, and two 2 to 4 mm tar
That's pretty graphic anecdotal evidence.
It would be impossible to measure the absolute rates of plastic
ingestion. A research project of that magnitude would almost impossible.
The visual evidence of plastics in the ocean is staggering. The
images at seaturtle.org will give you a pretty clear picture of
the problem. Single use plastics make absolutely no sense.
For more Stewardship Tips visit www.RecycledFish.org