The dangers of plastic, and life without it
Wednesday, May 27, 2009 - 12:51
Talk of the dangers of both reusable and disposable plastic is everywhere. MNN.com and many other websites have discussed the problems with using plastics of any sort. Plastic damages the environment from the first stages of its production to its disposal, and even in the process of recycling it. There is no way to safely dispose of plastic waste. Once plastic is produced, the damage is permanently done to the environment. Even recycling doesn't do much good — recycled plastic is lower in quality, which means even more plastic needs to be produced to make it. As for other sorts of plastic containers, including reusable ones, many of them can leech bisphenol A (BPA), which causes all sorts of health problems. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that over 90 percent of Americans have measurable amounts of BPA in their bodies.
So what are we to do? In the United States, plastic is almost entirely unavoidable for consumers. But many people are making attempts to cut down on the amount of plastic they use. EnviroWoman has been working to live without plastic for almost three years. Beth Terry from Fake Plastic Fish is "living life with less plastic" and challenging readers to do the same. It's a scary prospect, and a difficult goal. Even as I write this, I'm sipping my daily iced coffee out of a disposable plastic cup. Starbucks sells a reusable cup for its cold drinks ... but it's plastic, too.
So my goal is to cut down on the disposable plastic I use, as well as to slowly phase out the reusable plastic containers I already own. How hard will it be? We'll see.
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