The damage that plastic is causing to our environment and ecosystems is disastrous. Worldwide more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year. “Plastic is a substance the earth cannot digest and every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists”, emphasizes the Hollywood actor, producer and musician Jeff Bridges in a video that he narrated for the Plastic Pollution Coalition (PCC).
The consumption of disposable plastics has spiraled out of control: “We use seventeen million barrels of oil to make plastic water bottles. This is enough to fuel one million cars every year.” Most of the plastic we use goes into landfills. But even recycling is not a sustainable solution. “It’s actually called down cycling because plastic never goes away”, says Bridges.
The true costs of plastic pollution are high. Studies show that they alter hormones
and disrupt the endocrine system. “By refusing disposable plastic you can improve the health of the ocean and the environment around it”, the PCC member points out. Research has shown that compounds such as Bisphenol A (known as BPA) can leach from plastics into the food and drinks that we consume, such as water bottles. And plastic bottles are even more poisoning if they are heated to high temperatures. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), BPA can have potential effects on the brain, behaviour, and prostate gland of foetuses, infants and children. Consumers who are concerned about these effects should avoid plastic mineral water bottles, processed and packaged meals, tinned food and canned drinks.
Therefore, the Plastic Pollution Coalition has been building a global alliance to combat single use disposable plastic. “Refuse disposable plastic whenever and wherever possible”, suggests the organization. Reuse durable, non-toxic straws, utensils, to-go containers, bottles, bags, and other everyday items. Choose glass, paper, stainless steel, wood, ceramic and bamboo over plastic. Reduce your plastic footprint. Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse.
“I do my best to drink my water out of metal containers. I use PCC ‘Rethink’ bottles often. My family and I don’t purchase plastic water bottles at the store. We have a water filtration system to fill up our bottles”, reports Bridges in an interview with the Plastic Pollution Coalition. “When I’m working, on sets or stages, my contracts specify in the rider that no plastic bottles be used. When I’m playing with my band, we all use metal and non-plastic containers for drinking to be ecologically sensitive and show others that this is the way to go.”