Written by: on July 6, 2020 @ 6:00 am

What do a toothbrush, a sandwich bag, and a water bottle all have in common? They are all made of plastic! In fact, there are many things that we use every day that are use plastic that we don’t even think about- like milk gallons, straws, and hairbrushes (oh my!).  But where does all this plastic go when we throw it away?

Sadly, a lot of plastic ends up in landfills, which eventually lead to the ocean. This is because when it rains, plastic on the ground in landfills ends up floating into creeks and rivers that flow into the ocean. In fact, there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean today.  There are a lot of reasons why plastic is bad for the ocean. One of the biggest reasons is that plastic is dangerous for the ocean’s animals. Over 700 different species of marine animals are affected by plastic in the ocean. This is because some animals accidently eat the plastic because they mistake it for food, like sea turtles and jellyfish. Other animals, like birds, often get trapped in floating plastic debris.

If we all used a less plastic, we could make a huge difference in saving these animals! Here are some tips on how you can reduce the amount of plastic that you use to help save these animals lives:

Say NO to single use plastics!

Some stuff that is made from plastic are reusable, like plastic toys, bike helmets, medical devices. Single use plastics are the things we throw away after using them just one time. For example, plastic spoons, straws, plates, and water bottles usually get thrown in the trash after just one use! Plastic products like these account for more than 40% of plastic in the ocean, so if we all make an effort to not use them it will make a big difference! Some ways you can do this include: using metal straws, reusable grocery bags, and using washable dishes instead of plastic plates and bowls.

Get a reusable water bottle!

When a plastic water bottle ends up in the ocean, it can take thousands of break down. Reusable water bottles are a great way to reduce your use plastic water bottles while looking super cool! They come in all different colors and you can probably find one with your favorite cartoon character on it! Every minute, almost one million plastic drink bottles are sold around the world. Drinking out of the same bottle helps save a lot of plastic and you look awesome doing it.

Go thrift shopping!

Thrift shopping is a fun adventure and it reduces the amount of clothes that end up in landfills. In the United States we throw away about 10.5 million tons of clothing every year! This includes a ton of plastic and other harmful materials that take thousands of years to decompose. Going thrift shopping is a great way to revamp your entire closet inexpensively while reducing waste. Wear your grandad’s clothes, look incredible, and save the planet!

Pack sustainable lunches!

Lunch time is a great time to show all of your friends how sustainable you are! Little things like using a cool reusable lunch box, replacing plastic sandwich bags with reusable containers, and minimizing individually packaged snacks add up and reduce a lot of waste overtime!

No matter who we are, big or small, it is everyone’s responsibility to make our world a cleaner place. These steps may seem like small changes, but they make a huge difference! Talk to your friends and family members about these changes and see what they are doing to reduce their plastic footprint. 

Not sure if that item is recyclable? Read more on what you can and cannot recycle at: https://sciencemadefun.net/blog/i-didnt-know-i-could-recycle-that-today-is-america-recycles-day/

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