Why are plastics harmful?
Plastics are harmful to our health, our environment and they’re changing our ecosystems.
Most of us come into contact with some form of plastic everyday - plastic particles seep into the food we eat, the water we drink, the oceans we swim in, and we can even find microplastics in the air we breathe. We urgently need to work with our government to form a comprehensive plastic action plan. Plastic production has to be reduced, just as alternatives should be encouraged.
According to the Yale School of Environmental Studies:
There is also now abundant research that links BPA and phthalate exposure to such human health concerns as deformities of the male and female genitals; premature puberty in females; decreased sperm quality; and increases in breast and prostate cancers, infertility, miscarriages, obesity, type 2 diabetes, allergies and neurological problems, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Source: The Problem with Plastics – Yale
What are microplastics?
Microplastics are a growing environmental concern - they are small, barely visible pieces of plastic that enter and pollute our environment. They are defined as plastic particles less than 0.2 inches (5 mm) in diameter.
According to a recent study, microplastics were found in over 94 percent of U.S. water samples. To combat the growing issue of microplastics, the U.S. passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act in 2015, banning plastic microbeads from cosmetics, personal care products, and non-prescription (also called “over-the-counter" or "OTC") drugs, such as toothpastes.
How can we fight plastic pollution?
For additional information, check out these websites:
Learn about the history of plastics
Bag The Ban provides an interactive map that notes an active area of legislation for each state that has partially or wholly banned plastic bags.
“War on Plastics” details New Jersey’s current efforts to curb the plastic pollution problem
World Economic Forum - Learn about how microplastics affect human health