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Plastic Free July: Embrace the Challenge!


Cleaning up plastic from the beach
Plastic Free July

Were you aware that the plastic pollution crisis has become a pressing global issue with far-reaching consequences for the environment, wildlife, and human health? Plastic Free July is here, it is an annual environmental campaign that challenges people worldwide to reduce or eliminate their use of single-use plastics throughout this month. The initiative aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution and encourage long-term changes in people's behaviors so that Earth can protect all that reside on it. Tall task? Yes, but it can be done when we do our part.

 

Understanding the plastic problem and potential solutions:

 

1.    Scale of the problem: Every year, 19-23 million tons of plastic waste leak into aquatic ecosystems, polluting lakes, rivers, and seas. The equivalent of 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic are dumped into the world's oceans, rivers, and lakes daily.

 

2.    Environmental impact: Plastic pollution alters habitats and natural processes, reducing ecosystems' ability to adapt to climate change. It poses a significant threat to marine life, with over 1,500 species known to ingest plastics. Nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, are affected by plastics, with most species of seabirds consuming plastic.

 

3.    Persistence: Plastic can take between 100 to 1,000 years or more to decompose, depending on environmental conditions. This persistence leads to the accumulation of plastic in the environment, creating long-lasting pollution.

 

4.    Microplastics: These tiny plastic particles (less than 5mm in length.) have been found in human blood, lungs, and feces. They come from various sources, including synthetic fabrics, tires, and beauty products. This means there is more than likely something in your home causing plastic to end up in you or the bodies of your loved ones.

 

5.    Climate impact: The production of plastic is energy-intensive and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, plastics generated 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions – 3.4% of the global total.

 

6.    Economic and social impact: Plastic pollution directly affects millions of people's livelihoods, food production capabilities, and social well-being.

a.     Microplastics, tiny plastic fragments, contaminate the food chain. Seafood consumption can expose humans to these microplastics, with unknown health consequences. Plastic pollution also harms marine life vital to food webs, disrupting food security for coastal communities.

b.    People who depend on healthy oceans, like fishers and tourism workers, see their livelihoods threatened by plastic pollution. Reduced fish stocks and declining tourism can lead to job losses and economic hardship.

c.     Pristine beaches and healthy oceans are crucial for tourism. Plastic pollution deters tourists, hurting local economies reliant on tourism revenue. Beach cleanups become a necessary expense, further straining budgets.

 

To address these crises, several actions are being taken and more are being devised or coming down the pipeline, but we can all on you to do your part while the powers that be do so at a higher level:

 

1.    Global action: In 2022, UN Member States agreed on a resolution to end plastic pollution. An Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee is developing a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, aiming to finalize it by the end of 2024.

 

2.    Systemic change: To effectively tackle the plastic pollution crisis, systemic change is needed. This includes addressing the entire life cycle of plastics, from extraction and product design to production and waste management.

 

3.    Reduce and reuse: Individuals can make a difference by reducing their use of single-use plastics and opting for reusable alternatives. (visit: www.nurturewhatmattes.com/shop) to pick up some reusable products to help you on this journey.

 

4.    Support sustainable alternatives: Encourage the development and use of sustainable, biodegradable materials as alternatives to conventional plastics.

 

5.    Improve waste management: Support better waste collection and recycling systems to prevent plastic from entering the environment.

 

6.    Education and awareness: Spread awareness about the impacts of plastic pollution and the importance of responsible consumption and disposal.

 

In conclusion, by taking these steps and supporting broader initiatives, we can work towards mitigating the plastic pollution crisis and create a more sustainable future. It is Plastic Free July, therefore, there is no better month to begin a lifestyle change that can have a massive impact on the betterment of society; especially in the areas of health and well-being, the animals and sea creatures, and the overall environment that Mother Earth affords us to reside on each day.

 

 

Embrace the Challenge and Make a Difference:

This Plastic Free July, take the challenge to reduce your plastic footprint and embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. Together, we can make a significant impact on the environment and inspire positive change for future generations. Remember, every small change counts, and by choosing a plastic-free path, you're contributing to a cleaner, healthier planet for all.

Let's embark on this journey together and be the change we wish to see in the world. Say goodbye to single-use plastics and hello to a brighter, more sustainable future. Are you ready to join the Plastic Free July movement?

Take the first step today and make a lasting impact!

 

Shop Plastic Free

Visit the Nurture What Matters store to pick up a sustainable utensil set to go with you everywhere you go or even an eco-friendly travel bag, water bottle sling (original or the new adjustable strap), grocery bag, snack/sandwich bag or everyday bag to remind you to go or remain plastic free this month and beyond.

 

 

Remember, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

 

No more plastic
Plastic Free July



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