Many years ago I participated in an epic sailing adventure from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to a port in Massachusetts. After a month and still a hundred miles out, we began to sail through a thick mat of plastic bottles and other debris. I could not fathom how or why so much waste had floated out to sea. We now have continent sized gyres of plastic in the ocean, providing shelter and false food for the many creatures that live in the sea.
In my short life I have seen a cultural shift embracing disposable containers. The thought of drinking water encapsulated in a petroleum product nauseates me because I know that plastic leaches into our food and water. I also cannot forget the sight of a once beautiful horizon mired by disposable bottles.
Why does it matter? Plastic water bottles fuel global warming from its production to disposal. Only 9% of these bottles are downcycled into other products. The rest blow out to sea, are incinerated, or fill landfills. Plastics leach out into our food and water, affecting our heath and the health of all those it touches from production to disposal.
We have many great books on the topic that you can check out. Here is a link to our catalog.
Here is more information on the plastic gyres in the oceans.
Amanda Waddle with the Repurpose Project and ZERO WASTE Gainesville put together an informative presentation showing how Zero Waste communities can reduce plastic pollution and the global warming aspects of plastics. Here is a LINK to her presentation.
The Plastic Pollution presentation included the graph below (credit:U.S.EPA) illustrating how much production of plastics has grown and how little actually gets recycled.