On Eating Plastic...
What did you have for lunch today? Did you bring it from home? Did you get takeaway, or maybe go to a restaurant? Plastics are an incredible material for packaging but have hidden yet severe consequences for our health. Plastics are man-made material, chemically-made, and we don’t yet know what repercussions it may have on the health of youth today. One major problem is that of microplastics (small particles of plastics) entering our food system through fish. In 2016, “a study of anchovies caught in Tokyo Bay found that 80% had microplastic particles in their guts”, and these statistics are observed of commonly-eaten fish species worldwide.
According to Lisa Christensen, co-founder of HK Clean Up initiative, "it’s not just plastic bottles and pieces of Styrofoam that are threatening our marine wildlife, tiny microplastics contained in our toiletries, cosmetics and washing detergents are having hugely detrimental effects and making their way into our food chain.” (Source) So, some short tips for you to reduce your plastic consumption:
Avoid using cling film wherever possible (use aluminium foil or a container instead).
Reduce your use of plastic water bottles, and do not reuse them too many times.
Purchase beauty products that do not contain microplastics. “If you’re unsure, check the label and avoid products containing polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and nylon.”
Every one of us has a role to play in reducing the amount of plastic we use, dispose of, and consume, and continuing when there is seemingly little consequence; those are the most crucial times. At a bar with friends? Ask for no straw. Getting take away from a store? Bring your own container (BPA-free, of course!)
Written by: Bianca