Issue 6 Magazine Opinions

No Plastic, Too Drastic?

As a California native, I am aware of the dangers of plastic around us which harms our environment. The Las Lomas community is pro water bottle, and students strut the halls with bright colored hydroflasks. Though, many students, including myself, are guilty of using a lot of one use plastic, then shortly throwing it away. This plastic often gets dumped in the ocean, and harms our turtle friends. National Geographic addresses that around 700 species of marine life have been affected by the plastic dumped in the ocean, either by consuming or getting tangled in the plastic. 

Okay, so the big question is, “Can you live your life without plastic?” To be honest, I do not believe there is a way that one would be able to cut out plastic entirely out of their life. Plastic, like many things, has become an essential item for day-to-day life. I started to begin to cut plastic out of my life, but I found that the replacements were expensive and were in inconvenient places. But, I have made a great investment by replacing my plastic bags with reusable zipper bags I bought from Amazon. In the long run, replacing plastic with reusable bags can save you money, and save our planet. I believe it should become more widely known all of the easy alternatives to plastic. But cutting all plastic is not an easy feat. From vegetables wrapped in plastic to condiments in plastic containers,  I do not think anyone would be able to completely avoid plastic; but by using alternatives, people could drastically cut their plastic use. Billions of plastic has been produced worldwide and only about nine percent of it has been recycled.

Fortunately, in some parts of the world, plastic is surprisingly illegal. Recently in 2017, Kenya introduced rigid laws against plastic bags. Today, people from Kenya caught selling, producing, and even using plastic bags, run the risk of being imprisoned for up to four years, or being fined around $40,000. These extraordinary plastic bans that have been implemented force people to use environmentally friendly substitutes for plastic and could be very beneficial. These laws can reduce the 73% of the beach litter that is plastic, according to National Geographic. Our world should increase the number of countries and organizations banning plastic, and hopefully overtake the increased plastic production over the past 50 years. National Geographic has come to the consensus that by 2050, if plastic consumption increases at the current rate, twelve billion metric tons of plastic will accumulate in landfills. I believe that, of course, the reduced plastic used by individuals is a great start, but with no government control, implementing laws to reduce plastic use, individual acts will not benefit.