Larraine Roulston March’21

Continuing the Need to Reduce Plastic

By Larraine Roulston

If you love eating fish, you’ll be distressed to learn that researchers from Belgium’s University of Ghent recently revealed that every year seafood eaters ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic. The scientists claim that over time, micro-plastics that become embedded and accumulate in the body’s tissues could possibly pose a long-term health risk. Lead researcher Dr. Colin Janssen wonders if toxic chemicals will eventually leach out into parts of our bodies. He states, “We don’t know and actually we do need to know.” This information would benefit the politicians studying the growing costs of our health care.

Hard plastic in durable long-term products is useful, but the continual use of disposable plastic and microbeads in personal care products is destroying the very soil, oceans, and lakes that support us.

Tips to Reduce:

As restaurant owners these days are only able to accommodate takeout orders, there is a cost in providing the containers and environmental consequences for their disposal. Where possible, provide your own reusable containers.

Avoid disposable plastic straws.

Bake your own bread and cookies.

Seek recipes for mayonnaise, ketchup, hummus, and similar products that you frequently enjoy.

When packing a lunch, use your own metal cutlery.

Takeout paper coffee cups lined with polyethylene (a plastic resin) are usually not acceptable in most recycling programs or at composting facilities. The black lid and any plastic stir sticks are also generally tossed into street garbage bins. Take a thermos, a stainless-steel coffee cup or even a mason jar on your travels. 

Disposable diapers, with their plastic outer lining, are another source of pollution. Why use disposables when diapering a baby in cloth is a healthier option? 

In our world of growing technology, electronics is another area where plastic is being carelessly discarded. Before ditching a cell phone or computer, see if it can be repaired. Also, you can fight for the right to have electronics manufactured so that they can be repairable. If it is beyond hope, discard the device at an e-waste facility.

Use stainless steel kitchen utensils. This prevents microplastics from entering your food.

Opt for durable fabric, wood, wool, or metal toys. 

To avoid the plastic shampoo bottles, try shampoo soap bars.

Besides providing your own carrying bags when grocery shopping, include reusable bags for loose produce.

Discover ‘Eco Strips’. This Canadian innovation of paper strips that contain an eco-friendly detergent are sent by mail. Designed to replace large plastic detergent soap jugs, their use will guarantee a load of clean laundry. “We’re at a point in time where people are a lot more cognizant of plastic waste and global warming,” said Ryan McKenzie, co-founder of Tru Earth.

By reducing the dependency on petroleum-based plastic, we can save the environment from its hazardous accumulation. 

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~ Larraine writes children’s books that highlight the joy of composting and pollinating with the adventures of Pee Wee at Castle Compost. With illustrations, songs, and poems, the stories unearth the miracles of nature’s cycle of life. Fun and factual for all ages. To order, postage free visit: