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Eating from a food chain we’re tainting with plastic

April 08 2011 |

We conveniently segment the way we think about the ocean. We think of the ocean as some infinitely large area which, no matter what we do to it... no matter what we dump in it... it'll be fine. We think it's too large to NOT be fine.

One fact we tend not connect to any ocean-related news is that we routinely eat from this food chain. We are what we eat... which includes all the junk we throw into the ocean. A research project recently found 35% of fish had plastic in them.

If this sounds like an insurmountable problem, it isn't. That said it is OUR problem and does require a shift in our thinking.

We need to acknowledge both the connection we have with the ocean as well as our interdependency with the ocean. We need to understand that using single-use plastic ANYthing is a bad idea. So what can we do?

Refuse first. Chances are you can do without whatever single-use plastic you're being offered. You can bring a bag to the grocery and use a reusable bottle for water. You're smart, figure out an alternative.

Reduce what plastic you use. If you absolutely must take a piece of single-use plastic find a way to use less of it. Get your coffee without a plastic lid unless you absolutely need it.

Reuse the plastic you have. If you're in a place where you have no alternative to taking a single-use plastic item, reuse it. The absolute worst thing you can do is take a plastic bag, use it for 5 minutes to carry groceries and then throw it out.

If you've failed at all the above, recycle. Recycling isn't something to be proud of because it means you've failed at the first three options. That said, it's better than NOT recycling.

We are what we eat. Let's not eat plastic.

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