Two residents draw attention to plastic problem

By Jennie Pryor, Shore Thing

Our “disposable” plastic lifestyle is getting our human health and the entire ecosystem into BIG trouble! Vermilion residents Madison and Kipton Paden attempted to make us aware of the impact plastic disposables by participating in the Recycled Runway fundraiser event in Sandusky on Friday, April 13. They were sponsored by Shore Thing of Main Street Beach. Madison was the designer and seamstress; brother Kipton was the model. As one can see in the photo, their creation was made of plastic cast=offs with the jacket made of bubble wrap.

We produce 300 million tons of plastic each year. Fully one-half of plastic production is for single-use. More than 10 million tons of this plastic end up in our waterways each year. As a result, the fish and wildlife in our treasured Lake Erie are being threatened. The toxins from plastics have entered the food chain in Lake Erie and ultimately threaten our human health.

It takes 400 years for plastics to degrade in water. As it breaks down into smaller pieces, it is ingested by fish which then makes its way to our own stomachs. Even smaller microplastic pieces make their way into our drinking water. And yet, using disposable water bottles (which make up over half of the plastic beverage bottles produced) is a continued practice in our disposable society.

Another example of plastic waste is the fact that one million plastic bags are used every minute. These bags have an average work life of fifteen minutes. And yet, many of us continue to choose plastic bags for convenience in our disposable lifestyle. Let’s kick this habit by carrying reusable bags for any kind of shopping trips, not just grocery trips.

Cigarette butts are the most common piece of trash. (Shore Thing members who pick up trash at Main Street Beach will agree!) The plastic fibers in the filters contain over 600 chemicals. They can last hundreds of years before breaking down. The filters are often eaten by fish and birds making them sick. Please dispose of cigarette butts in receptacles.

There is so much we can do to make positive changes for our environment. Learn more about this problem and how you can be part of the solution.

 

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