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Natural Resources Defense Council

Climate love

Strategies to Mitigate Plastic Pollution

The world's oceans are grappling with millions of tons of debris, with a significant portion being plastic waste that poses a grave threat to marine life. Marine animals, including fish, can become entangled in this refuse or ingest it, either due to mistaking it for prey or because the plastic has broken down into minute particles through interaction with seawater.

Plastic's persistent nature compounds the issue—it is non-biodegradable and can endure for up to a staggering 1,000 years, outlasting other forms of waste. To safeguard our water bodies, the most effective approach is to minimize the influx of plastic into the waste stream.

Thankfully, numerous minor lifestyle changes can yield substantial positive impacts:

1. Transition away from disposable plastics.
Approximately ninety percent of plastic items in our daily routines are single-use, discarded after one use. Monitor your reliance on such products and make the shift to reusable alternatives. Consistently bringing your own bags to stores or using personal cutlery at work will become second nature over time.

2. Refrain from using products with microbeads.
The tiny plastic particles present in various beauty products—such as facial scrubs, toothpaste, and body washes—can seem benign. However, their minute size enables them to evade water treatment processes, and some marine creatures mistake them for sustenance. Opt for products containing natural exfoliants like oatmeal or salt instead.

3. Eliminate plastic bottle purchases.
Annually, billions of plastic bottles are discarded. Carry a reusable water bottle in your bag. If concerns about local tap water quality arise, opt for a model featuring an integrated filter.

4. Cook at home more frequently.
Preparing your own meals minimizes reliance on takeout containers and contributes to better health. When ordering in or dining out, inform the establishment that you do not require plastic utensils, or carry your own containers for restaurant leftovers.

5. Prioritize recycling.
While this may seem evident, actual recycling rates are disappointing. For instance, less than 14 percent of plastic packaging undergoes recycling.

6. Advocate for bag taxes or bans.
Urge elected officials to introduce or support legislation discouraging the use of plastic bags.

7. Exert pressure on manufacturers.
Although personal habits can make a difference, corporations have a more substantial impact. If you believe a company could enhance its packaging practices, voice your concerns. Write a letter, send a tweet, or demonstrate your stance by redirecting your spending toward more environmentally conscious alternatives.

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  • We Don't Have Time

    44 w

    Dear dickson mutai Your climate love has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to Natural Resources Defense Council by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

    • Christina Carlmark

      44 w

      One big problem to recycling is that different plastics are used and mixed into one plastic product - which can not be recycled properly. Countries need to ban this way of using plastics!

      • johnte ndeto

        44 w

        By implementing measures like recycling, reducing single-use plastics, promoting sustainable alternatives, and raising awareness,we can collectively address the issue of plastic pollution and work towards a cleaner environment.

        • Edwin wangombe

          44 w

          Plastic should not only be mitigated but be done away with completely... Plastic alternatives that are eco-friendly should be adopted ASAP to prevent this pollution crisis

          • George Kariuki

            44 w

            I cringe every time I see people visiting the waterbodies carrying their snacks with paper bags knowing very well they'll just damp them in the water. This needs to stop.

            • Rashid Kamau

              44 w

              Let's all avoid unnecessary and single-use plastics.

              • Annett Michuki..

                44 w

                plastics should be done with to save the planet

                • Jengaj John

                  44 w

                  Plastic pollution is a major environmental concern due to the severe threats it poses to both terrestrial and marine ecosystems

                  • Grace Njeri

                    44 w

                    @jengaj_john I would suggest a complete ban of plastics if possible.

                  • Princess

                    44 w

                    This is a vital role in combating one of the most pressing environmental challenges.

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