Plastic Paradise

I just watched the documentary Plastic Paradise (http://plasticparadisemovie.com/). A fantastic & eye-opening documentary about the use of perhaps the most ubiquitous substance on the planet (right after air and water).

Plastic dumping is a real problem. On similar scale as global warming or might be even more. Unfortunately, nobody has a full grasp on the scale of the issue yet since a lot of it happens under the oceans which we don’t usually care to see. Plastic is not just out there in the trash cans and dump yards now. It is now an integral part of our food chain. Unfortunately, most of us are already eating plastic contaminated food today. Some of you might already be savvy health freaks and already know the hormonal havoc chemicals such as BPA cause in the body. The BPA infact was first invented as an estrogen drug for women. Imagine that seeping in your body now even when you eat your regular “healthy” food just because plastic is so entrenched in the entire supply. The planktons are small microscopic greens in the oceans. These are supposedly the base of the entire pyramid of animals. They form the basis of the food supply chain. There is good evidence that the planktons already have microscopic plastic within them. The same microplastic that the toothpaste and cosmetics industry denied for over a decade before finally giving up last year and removing it from their products. Imagine that for the last whole decade, you were brushing your teeth with plastic, applying microplastic to your face with the so-called exfoliating scrubs and creams. Plastic is also found very commonly in the fish that are caught for food. So it is already making way to your plate. Imagine the trash that you throw out as plastic making the full circle right to your dining table. Not a very pretty thought!

This got us thinking, right after the film got over, we counted over 15 things in our living room that were plastic. We did a retrospect on the plastic waste that we put in the recycle bin each alternate week – it was fairly significant. Much more than what we had seen during our childhood. This is despite the fact that we do not use plastic packaging for foods such as milk, eggs, oil and several other by choice already.

The movie highlights several things we can do to reduce our plastic footprint. But here are a couple of smaller impact items that you can start doing today –

Carry reusable bags when you go grocery shopping. We do that for more than 2 years now and it has helped reduce a lot of plastic waste. Also try out farmers markets. They are much better in terms of food quality and also a lot less plastic.

Avoid plastic toys for kids. Let them go out and play. Its anyways better. Plastic toys when put in mouth causes hormonal disorders for children.

Get your milk in glass bottles. A lot of local dairies provide milk in glass containers. It is just a matter of finding them around you. Trust me they are everywhere these days.

Get yourself a glass water bottle – perhaps for everyone in the family. Avoid using the plastic bottles. Especially the single use ones. Never EVER give a plastic bottle to your kids.

If you really don’t need it, say NO to receipts. The movie explains why a lot better. There is also a significant amount of research that goes into it.

– Get yourself glass cups  / glasses – Yes they look good and are much better for you and the earth. Ditch the plastic glasses for sure.

 – Say NO to straws with your beverage – They make up almost 33% of the waste on the beaches.

– Say NO to plastic caps on your next coffee – You will need it for just 5 minutes. But the plastic stays literally Forever.

Lastly, whatever plastic you cannot avoid, make sure you ALWAYS RECYCLE.

Check out the documentary at – http://plasticparadisemovie.com/ (Also available on Netflix)

Look at websites such as http://5gyres.org/ to educate yourself and spread awareness.

This is an issue that can be for sure changed at grassroots. Lets do it ! TODAY !

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