Can You Swim In A Sea Of Plastic?
Living on the coast, I feel like ocean pollution is always a topic of conversation. Maybe this is because it directly effects people in their everyday (summer) life. When I go for a swim, I see garbage in the ocean. It’s disgusting. No one wants to swim alongside plastic bags, empty food containers, or packaging that’s drifted away from a cargo ship. While it’s always a thought, sometimes it can be fleeting. While I won’t pretend to know where it all comes from, I can assuredly say that it isn’t going to disappear. Ever.
Plastic does not ever break down. In fact, it becomes more dangerous for our environment as fish end up eating it or absorbing it. When we eat those fish, we eat the plastic. Plastic pollution extends far beyond marine wildlife. National Geographic published the findings of one research team who studied the amount of micro plastics in the air and drinking water.
“People who meet their recommended water intake through tap water ingest an additional 4,000 plastic particles annually, while those who drink only bottled water ingest an additional 90,000, the study found.”
I’m sure you’re wondering, as am I, what the health impacts of absorbing and eating/drinking micro plastics are on our bodies. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough information out there to state exactly what goes on. The hypothesis is basically, nothing good can come of this. ”Different types of plastic have varying toxic properties. Some are made with toxic chemicals like chlorine, while others pick up trace amounts of chemicals like lead found in the environment.“ I don’t know about you, but I do my best to eat healthy foods, and I use a Berkey water filtration system. I don’t want to negate the work I do to keep my body healthy by absorbing toxic chemicals by way of food, clothing, and even just breathing.
There are times when I get on the soap box, and yell at the top of my lungs “Plastic is so detrimental and unnecessary! We can make everything - everything - that we use plastic for out of something biodegradable! PLASTIC SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!” And you know what? It’s unsatisfying. I don’t think I’m in a position to make Poland Spring re-evaluate their plastic usage. But in times like these, I like to think of the changes I can make personally that can have a positive impact on my life, body, and environment. Here’s a few places you can start if you’re feeling the same way I am! Bonus: all linked products are Made in the USA.
Have a plastic-free month. I tried the classic Plastic Free July, but who’s to say August can’t be plastic free? Or, dare I say, plastic free September?!
Carry around a few reusable tote bags. You’d be surprised how many bags this saves. Check out these ombre printed, recycled cotton tote bags from Love Integration Yoga (available in two colors)
Carry around a reusable water bottle and/or travel coffee cup. ‘Nuff said.
Develop good purchasing practices. This Fall/Winter, focus on finding clothing made with natural fabrics, and dyed without heavy metals (aka dyed with low-impact dyes).
Demand big corporations do their part to end plastic pollution. It’s not cool that big companies produce single use plastic products, profit from our purchases, and turn a blind eye to how it is disposed of. Research + development teams, hear us loud and clear: figure out an alternative to single use plastic before you destroy our bodies and Earth.
Have anything to add? I’d love to hear what you think about plastic and new alternatives that you’ve found. Thanks for reading :)
By Jackii Ramis - Jackii is a sustainable fashion fiend and designer/founder of Indigo Apparel. www.jackiiramis.com— Blurring the lines between fashion & art.
Images from linked articles - Visit their websites to find out more. Follow Indigo Apparel on Instagram @indigoapparelny for sustainable fashion + giveaways!