It’s so freakin’ hot! Yep, climate change is real. In case you’ve forgotten, increasing temperatures is one impacts of the changing climate. If only we had more trees which can have a cooling effect in cities. But no, these are obstructions to wider roads and malls and buildings you want to put up. With this heat, it would have been nice to take a dip in a pool or go to the beach. Nicki Minaj’s “Let’s go to the beach, each, let’s go get a wave…” is inviting. That, unfortunately, could not happen anytime soon.
May is the “Month of the Ocean.” But with this COVID-19 crisis, I can’t help but wonder how we are to deal with all the plastic from PPE to food packaging, and relief goods placed in plastic bags which sadly could end up in our oceans.
The campaign against single-use plastic has been gaining momentum in the past years but with the current situation, it seems like we have to deal yet again with the issue of plastic pollution.
I would not discount the fact that plastic is useful, convenient, and cheap. But impacts to health and the environment are as always not captured in the price. Who pays for the real price? Oceans choking in plastic, wildlife dying, and possible health impacts due to toxicity (though more studies have yet to be done on this).
So where does that leave us? Well, at least for me, I do my best to avoid single-use or unnecessary plastic (plastic PPE is acceptable, I suppose, but I hope better alternatives can be created soon). Sometimes, it irks me when I say, “No plastic, please” or “No need for the paper bag,” and out of habit, they’d just do the opposite. I force a smile and take a deep breath. There is still a lot of raising awareness that has to be done (plus, let’s not forget government and corporate action!).
No, you’re not saving the environment when you keep on buying the reusable bags in the supermarket which you forget to bring the next time you go shopping.
A common question, “Is paper any better, it has a huge carbon footprint?” That’s true but it’s not as toxic and as persistent in the environment so maybe it’s a lesser evil? Re-usables is still the best bet.
But hey, I also recognize that options at the moment are limited. The important thing is we try to do what we can to reduce plastic use so that the next time we go to the beach, it won’t be plastic we would be swimming with.