Why we should refuse…
It’s lunch time. We go into a supermarket, grab a sandwich, maybe a snack, and a plastic bottle of water. We then drink the water and throw the bottle into the bin. All around the UK, about 25 million people do this – and it’s affecting the planet. Here’s a few reasons how:
When we recycle a plastic bottle, we rightly expect it will be made into another bottle which might well be displayed on a shop shelf sometime in the near future. Sadly, though, this isn’t the case. Contrary to popular belief, bottles that are recycled are actually down cycled, which basically means they are made into something of less worth than they were before. And that is only the bottles that are recycled – a maximum of 20% of the billions we consume every year.
The rest of these bottles make their way into landfill or, worse, into the environment – littering the planet forever.
The reason plastic bottles have such a catastrophic effect when they litter the environment, particuarly waterways and the ocean, is because they never biodegrade. Plastic bottles are man-made, with substances such as oil used in their manufacture, which means that they can never return to their original form naturally. These bottles can stay in the same form as when we bought them for up to 500 years, and even then they only break down into bite-size snacks for fish, which mistake the plastic fragments for food. The harmful toxins contained in the plastic work their way up the food chain, and eventually end up in us – chemicals that mix up women’s hormones and can even cause cancer!
So we, literally, manufactured this problem – and now it’s up to US to fix it.