The problem with plastic
The scope of the problem of single-use plastics is enormous. Most people do not realize that plastics originate from fossil fuels and that during their entire life cycles, plastics create enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, which are contributing to rising temperatures. The equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic waste gets dumped into the ocean every minute, where it breaks down into microplastics, damaging the marine environment and reducing the ocean’s ability to combat climate change. Researchers are finding plastic in our food chain, our water supply and the air we breathe. There are growing concerns about plastic pollution’s impact on our health.
It’s easy to think that when we recycle plastic, we are being responsible and keeping plastic out of landfills. However, studies tell us that only 9% of all plastic is recycled, including the plastic sent to recycling facilities. Most plastics can only be recycled once or twice before it is downcycled, and most downcycled items cannot be recycled again.
Plastic Free July
As a congregation, we join with people around the world to recognize Plastic Free July. According to the Plastic Free Foundation, “Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution—so we can have cleaner streets, oceans and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?”
Take the Eco-Challenge
How far can you go to reduce your single-use plastic purchases?