Plastic has snuck its way into many of our everyday items. How much do you really know about the things you use? Test your knowledge!
Though plastic is in all of these items, not all of them can be recycled.
While plastic bottles can go into your normal recycling bin, chip bags, wrappers, and plastic bags can't. These types of plastic have to go through a different process to be recycled. But the good news is, they can be recycled! Some snack companies have their own programs that enable consumers to collect their single-use snack bags and mail them in to be recycled. And some shops and grocery stores have recycling bins specifically for "film plastics" like thin plastic bags.
In the last seven decades, humans have produced roughly 9 billion tons of plastic — and 75% of that has been thrown away. Much of the plastic that gets tossed out with the trash eventually makes its way into the ocean where it damages ecosystems and harms marine life. In fact, plastic waste is being dumped into the ocean at a rate of about one truck full every minute.
Without intervention from governments and companies, and major habit changes by individuals, the amount of plastic in the ocean could triple in a decade, experts have warned.
From the extraction of the materials needed to make plastic to the pollution emitted by the factories that create it, plastic production also has serious negative impacts on the environment.
Read more: The Long, Strange Journey of a Plastic Bag
But change can start with us. Many plastic products can be easily swapped out for greener, more sustainable ones.
Instead of using plastic water bottles and bags, carry reusable bags and bottles with you. Choose paper when possible. And when there are no other alternatives to using plastic, do your best to recycle it to help minimize it's harm to our planet.
Global Citizen campaigns to preserve our planet and save the environment. You can take action here and pledge to help reduce plastic waste.