[britni] S.U.P. (Single Use Plastics)
Sean, feeling sad about all of his plastic use.
After my homework last week for my Single Use Plastic post in our collaborative social media series with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies I'm ready to confess a few things.
I began doing some research on types of single use plastics as, they are one of the main sources of marine plastic pollution. What I discovered was REALLY OVERWHELMING. There are so many sites and organizations who are publishing information about the single use plastic problem. It was great to discover that there are so many passionate people spreading awareness about S.U.P.s, but also a bit discouraging because despite all of these efforts we still have a giant problem on our hands.
Single Use Plastics: They're a problem
Click here to read some facts.
What could I possibly contribute to this problem? What could I say that hasn't already been written about already and worse - I began to realize how much I personally contribute to the problem.
And there it was. The most powerful part of this project so far hit me: I need to own my part in contributing to the problem and then document how to make realistic, positive changes. I had a real life "admitting you have a problem is the first step."
"Admitting you have a problem is the first step in
recovering from addiction." - Cookie Monster (pastry addict)
Simply being aware of the excessive use of single use plastics really is the first step for many of us here, as cliche as it may seem. So, I asked the salt squad to document (fancy word for selfie) each time they touched a single use plastic for a day, then, I made this video with them:
I think this exercise was pretty eye opening for the whole team. We use so much plastic. ALL. THE. TIME. Our single use plastics come wrapped in plastic. Then we carry around that plastic in a plastic thing that we dispose of in a plastic waste liner. IT IS INSANE YOU GUYS.
Holly, innocently trying to get to her single use plastic, but has to
tear though an outer layer of other single use plastic (insert cry emoji).
Ok. What is the point of all of this? For me, it was realizing that ending up with these plastics is pretty much inevitable at this point (though I have high hopes for this changing in the future). I also accept that I really don't know what to do with it all and a lot of it ends up in the garbage. The single use plastic problem is definitely too much to write about all in one post (remember, I promised this journey would be easy) so next week we will walk through what to actually do with these plastics to prevent them from ending up in the ocean and hopefully getting more uses out of it. Not all plastics are recyclable (especially in Homer, Alaska) but we can at the very least do our part in keeping it out of the water to avoid harming marine life and ultimately, eating it. We will also come up with some practical ways to organize recycling systems in our homes.
What can you do for now? Just think about all of the plastics you are using. Yep, that's it just think about them, notice them. No need to change anything just yet. Change doesn't happen quickly, but if you can change your mind you can change your life. So let's start by getting these plastics on our minds.
Catch you next week,