Plastic has even permeated into areas never before thought possible. In a recent study at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, a group of scientists have discovered plastic in the stomachs of crustaceans living miles below the ocean surface in deep trenches. In fact, every animal that was analyzed in the study from the Mariana Trench, the deepest in the world at seven miles, had ingested plastic.
While the amount of plastic entering the world’s oceans continues to dramatically increase, we do see some efforts of increase recycling rates and use of recycled materials. However, this increase will likely be offset by the need for more plastic bottles, bags, cutlery, etc. as global populations increase.
This will continue to be a challenge future generations must face as global populations continue to increase and consumption along with it. Fortunately, there are solutions to the use of plastics and we do have the technology to utilize more degradable packaging. For example; learn to wean yourself off disposable plastics by carrying a reusable grocery bag on a next shopping trip, bringing silverware to the office instead of using disposable cutlery, carrying a reusable water bottle instead of buying water, boycotting beauty products such as facial scrubs, toothpaste and body washes that contain plastic microbeads, buy in bulk to limit packaging, and supporting businesses that promote smarter, recyclable packaging, rather than others that do not.
Plastic is everyone’s problem. Play your part in helping to sustain our planet for future generations.