The Environment: How to Reduce Plastic Pollution

Canadian Environment Week

In 1971, the Canadian government took a stand to declare that the environment was important enough that we should take steps to protect it. Canadian Environment Week was launched. Since that time, all levels of government, plus businesses, schools, and individuals have been encouraged to take part in this important week. It falls during the week that includes June 5th, which also happens to be World Environment Day.

World Environmental Day – June 5th
Clean Air Day – June 6th
World Ocean Day – June 8th

Focus on Plastic Pollution

This year’s focus for the week has been a long time coming—beat plastic pollution. The world’s first synthetic polymer was invented in 1907 by Leo Baekeland. During World War II, the use of plastics increased dramatically, for items from Plexiglas windows in planes, to parachutes, ropes, and body armour for personnel. By the 1960s, plastics hit the mainstream market, and the world never looked back.

Unfortunately for today’s world, all that plastic still exists though. As seen so readily almost everywhere one might look, it is choking our planet. Approximately 8 million metric tonnes of plastic is in the world’s oceans. Estimates suggest that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. On land is no different.

Look around. Walk any forest or attend any park cleanup and it is easy to see what some of the biggest culprits are;

  • plastic bottles
  • plastic bags
  • straws
  • food wrappers
  • takeout cups & containers
  • plastic utensils
  • cigarette butts
  • beverage cans

 

 

 

Do you notice anything? All of these items are disposable. Most of them made from plastic. And I would bet that most of you have purchased more than one of these items in your day. Possibly daily. So what can we do to reduce plastic pollution? Time to start making changes!

What Can You Do for the Environment?

Using a refillable water bottle is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic you use

You don’t have to be an eco-warrior to make small changes in your lifestyle which equate to a huge impact on our planet. Here are some suggestions from CLC Tree Services to reduce your plastic consumption;

  • use refillable water bottles & travel mugs (no more plastic water bottles or disposable coffee cups)
  • take cloth tote bags to the store (say no to plastic bags!)
  • pack a lunch at home (reduce takeout containers & plastic utensils)
  • say no to straws (or carry your own reusable straw)

What else can be done to reduce plastic pollution?

Planters filled with natural materials—all items decompose and return nutrients back to the environment

Choose products made from natural materials. Wood is a renewable resource. Ultimately, it also decomposes, unlike most plastics which break down into smaller and smaller pieces and never truly disappear. Plus, those micro-plastics are harmful in our environment to animals, birds, marine wildlife, and people.

Reuse items. Instead of buying single-use items or lower quality products which have a short lifespan, use your purchasing power to buy items which can be used over and over again. Think a wooden Adirondack chair, versus cheap plastic lawn chairs which only last a season. In the long run, not only do you keep plastic out of landfills, but you also spend less on quality pieces which last far longer.

Support small, local businesses. Many small, local businesses go above and beyond to create and offer their best possible product. They listen to their customers and work hard to create brand loyalty and satisfaction. Ask them to support a green initiative and see how that movement grows in your community.

Try it. It works! What more do you think CLC Tree Services could do for the environment?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *