Enviro Monday: You can stop using these 5 plastic products right now

Millions of plastic products across the globe are used only once and then discarded. Humans have caused this problem and we can, individually, one product at a time, do something about it.

The Earth cannot digest plastic. Every bit of plastic that’s ever been created is still on Earth and this issue has reached a critical point.

What happens to plastic once we’ve used it?

Most of it goes into landfills, a portion gets into the water systems and a lot of it ends up in the ocean.

Plastic pieces on the ocean’s surface outnumber sea life six to one. It constitutes about 90 percent of the trash floating on the ocean’s surface.

Recycling is not a sustainable solution. It’s actually called down cycling, because plastic never goes away.

What effect does plastic have on human life?

Plastic chemicals like BPA are absorbed by the human body. Studies show that they disrupt hormone function and the endocrine system.

Apart from the BPA issue, that most people are aware of, plastic also contains DDT and PCB which are two extremely toxic chemicals. DDT has been linked to cancer, male infertility, miscarriages, developmental delay, nervous system and liver damage. PCBs also contribute to cancer and cause disorders of the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems.

Stop using these plastic products now

Bottled water

Only purchase products in sustainable packaging. By refusing single use disposable plastic you can improve the health of the ocean and the environment including human and animal health.

Instead:  Drink from a tap or glass water bottles.

Takeaway coffee cups

The cups are lined with plastic which is not biodegradable.

Instead: Use a travel mug.

Plastic shopping bags

South African shops sell about eight billion plastic bags per year.

Instead: Keep reusable bags in your car or handbag.

Plastic cutlery

France became the first country to ban plastic cutlery, cups and plates. About 150 single use cups were thrown away every second in France.

Instead: Carry a splade in your bag – a spoon, fork and knife in one.


Say no to straws! Make a personal commitment to say “no” to plastic straws. When ordering a drink, politely say “no straw, please”.

WATCH: Multiple Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges speak out against plastic pollution.

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