What are plastics manufactured out of? OIL.
In the process of manufacture of plastic items, billions of tonnes of carbon are released into the atmosphere. This is not green carbon that the Earth naturally generates, absorbs ad recycles. This is carbon that is excess of the natural cycle. And thanks to this excess carbon. A single disposable plastic water bottle has a carbon footprint of almost 100 gm. (This does not take into the account the oil used to run the plants that make the bottles, or to clean the water before it is bottled, or the oil used to ship the bottle to your nearest retail store). 100 gm per bottle does not seem like much, but when you multiply it with the number of bottles used and indiscriminately disposed off every year, the numbers start to become staggering. According to some estimates, 1,000,000 plastic water bottles are used globally ... EVERY MINUTE.
Just by using a disposable plastic water bottle, we are adding 51,840,000,000 metric tonnes of carbon every year into the atmosphere.
Now add the other kinds of plastics we use daily, particularly single-use plastics, and the reality will start to sink in. Is it any surprise that the climate is changing and the weather is warming?
We live in a plastic society. It is quite amusing to see people who want to make the transition to a greener world by buying organic vegetables ... except they bring it back home in a plastic shopping bag.
We need to examine our relationship with plastic. Do we really need it?
Sure, it is convenient, but are you willing to sacrifice the future for immediate convenience? Think about it. We are fast becoming a throwaway society. We do not build things to last, but we build things that are replaced after initial use ... think single use plastics. If left to the manufacturers, they will almost always choose the more convenient, the cheaper option. Soft drink manufacturers switched to plastic from glass bottles in the early 1990s because it saved them money. They are not going to change in a hurry. Not unless we stand up and affect their bottomline.
It is up to each and every one of us to ensure that the manufacturers of the products we consume are ethically made and do not harm the environment. If each of us refuse to drink soft drink or water out of a disposable plastic bottle, things will change in a hurry since it will affect the manufacturers revenues.
Step up and refuse to use plastic products like bottles and straws and bags and cups and plates. In the short term it might be a little more expensive to you, but in the long run, we will leave a cooler, cleaner Earth for our children.