Plastics in packaging is going overboard

Mandy Scheuer, Office Manager

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Have you ever opened something you ordered online, and there was way too much packaging for the item you bought?  Even an item such as a new iPhone 7 case there was about twice the amount of packaging as needed.

When I was unpackaging a set of earbuds, I was amazed by how much plastic was used in the packaging.

Why is there so much packaging? What is the purpose?

Think about what plastic does to our Earth. Sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, which is their favorite food. Those plastic rings that go around individual bottles of soda or Gatorade, they get tangled on marine animals’ necks and those animals often end up choking to death. It saddens me to see animals dying because of plastic, as it should everyone.

According to David Attenborough, the narrator of some of BBC America’s award-winning nature shows like “Blue Planet,” “Planet Earth” and “Frozen Planet” to name a few: “We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet. And never before have we had the power to do something about that. Surely, we have a responsibility to care for our Blue Planet. The future of humanity and indeed of all life on earth now depends on us.”

The obvious option is to stop using plastic products altogether. But that is hard because plastic is found everywhere. So then start off by just not using plastic bags to put your groceries in.

When they are thrown away, they take more than 200 years to break down if they even break down at all.

On the bright side, some places have been making positive steps towards avoiding using plastic. France, India, Italy, Madagascar and several other countries were cited by the World Resources Institute as having a virtual outright ban on plastic bags. I have also read that Starbucks is planning on eliminating its use of plastic globally by 2020. I feel like that is a great step in the right direction.

There has got to be something we can do to reduce the amount of plastic that is being used in packaging. For now, just start simple.

Take a re-usable bag with you the next time you go grocery shopping. Don’t purchase beverages that come packed in non-recyclable plastic. Carry your own re-usable water bottle. Simple steps, but they can make a difference.

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