Plastic is possibly one of the most useful and ingenious inventions, but it is time to consider whether the damage that plastic causes is worth the convenience it offers. Every day we interact with a massive amounts of plastic without even realizing it. We have become so accustomed to its presence- from mechanical pencils to the take out container you got for your left-overs. Almost every item in a grocery store is packaged in some form of plastic, and it is easy to forget about the danger it poses when it is presented in bright shiny colors and just so happens to contain your favorite brand of chips. My request of everyone is a simple one: please try to be aware of your plastic consumption. This does not mean you must stop using plastic entirely, but only be aware of when you are using it and consider that it is only one option. Instead of getting a plastic bottle of coke, perhaps search out the glass or can version. We are capable of living waste free lives- it is just up to us individually to decide whether or not to do so.
There is a concept that the world runs on that I don’t think many people understand the magnitude of, so I’m going to explain it to you. This concept is supply and demand. Supply and demand simply means that if consumers ask for (demand) a product, companies and industries will provide (supply) it to the consumers. What does this have to do with plastic and how can you help? It is simple: if you do not use a plastic product, the supplier of said product will stop supplying it. If you chose to not use a plastic bottle and instead choose a canteen, the plastic business takes a hit (albeit a very small hit). Every time you refuse plastic you are expressing that you do not want or need it; there is not a demand for it. This is a very simple way to help alleviate the plastic problem, and if enough people refuse plastic the businesses will get the message. This does not mean that the businesses will go under, it simply shows that the customers are interested in different containers for their products- so your precious Doritos will not vanish, but likely appear in a biodegradable container. Change starts with you.
(Copyright 2016 Sadie Loeber)