Plastic items that usually get discarded and wind up being buried in landfills or washed out to sea are serious issues brought up during annual events like Earth Day. The seriousness of large amounts of plastic debris in the worlds seas and oceans have raised fears of giant plastic garbage patches in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea.
David de Rothschild (with red cap) on Plastiki plastic catamaran
The known fact about a huge floating “island” of plastic and other debris in the middle of the Pacific Ocean resulted in the four month voyage by renown environmentalist David de Rothschild, who participated in this event as part of the crew of the Plastiki sailing catamaran made mostly of of recycled material, including more than 1,500 plastic bottles.
But one doesn’t have to take long sea voyages on boats made of discarded plastic to have an idea on how much plastic wastes is normally thrown out by an average household in just a month’s time. In order to prove this, I decided to save all the plastic items used during this period of time and then do an updated article of them, including photographing this material.
Plastic beverage bottles are just a fraction of the plastic containers and other items that people purchase at local supermarkets and other stores. After tallying up these items, the following were noted:
20 plastic yogurt containers
6 tomato paste and sauce containers
Assorted shampoo and cosmetic item containers
At least 3 containers for roasted chicken
5 containers for cheese and other dairy products
1 sushi container
Other miscellaneous containers, including a bottle for so-called “natural” plant fertilizer.
All of this accumulation was for only two people and without including plastic beverage bottles. After photographing these items, they were put into a plastic item recycle bin, and will hopefully be made into other plastic products.
But will they? Chances are, many of these items will be separated from plastic beverage bottles and afterwards sent to the local landfill due to more difficulty in recycling these items. Plastic items that are recycled can be effectively turned into a number of products, including even bridges for cars and other vehicles as noted in a previous article. Art forms are also made from discarded plastic material, including “carpets” of plastic beverage bottles .
So next time you start to throw away discarded plastic food and cosmetic containers, consider our planet and take a few moments to separate these items and deposit into plastic products recycle bins. It does not take that much time to do this and in a small way you will help save our planet.
Read more on plastic wastes and recycling:
Recycling for Earth Day
Will Bridges of Recycled Plastic Work in the Middle East?
David de Rothschild Talks Adventure and Plastic with Green Prophet
Is the Mediterranean Sea Harboring a Giant Plastic Patch?