Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

New Year's Resolution: Refuse Disposable Plastics

New Year's Resolution: Refuse Disposable Plastics

The Plastic Pollution Coalition launched a campaign this month aimed at reducing single use plastic in 2014. Through Resolve to Refuse, the Plastic Pollution Coalition is urging people to sign a pledge to follow the “Four Rs” of sustainable living—refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle—in the New Year.

Disposable plastic items have become so commonplace that they are literally everywhere—from ubiquitous plastic bags and bottles to plastic straws, lids, bags, cups, utensils, plates and packaging.

 

“Our plastic pollution is literally entering the food chain, getting into our food and potentially exposing us to toxic chemicals," said actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr., one of the celebrity activists that signed the pledge. "We need to change our disposable habits now.”

Disposable plastics never biodegrade, but they do breakdown. As they do, any toxic additives they contain—including flame retardants, antimicrobials and plasticizers—are released into the environment. Many of these chemicals are hormone disrupting, posing a risk to the endocrine systems of both animals and humans.

Many U.S. cities have enacted bans on the use of plastic bags, but the federal government has yet to pass similar regulations. In December, New York City banned styrofoam food containers.

Every bit of plastic that has ever been produced still exists, according to Plastic Pollution Coalition, including the small amount that has been incinerated and has become toxic particulate matter.

“Plastic bottles have got to go," said actor Jeff Bridges. "The bottles take a large amount of energy and fossil fuel to produce, then leach chemicals—phthalates and BPA—into the beverage, and will last forever. What is convenient about that?” 

Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.

 

Lakota spiritual leader Chief Arvol Looking Horse attends a demonstration against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 28, 2015. Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cancel the controversial Keystone XL pipeline on the first day of his administration, a document reported by CBC on Sunday suggests.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst stand at the Orion spacecraft during a visit at the training unit of the Columbus space laboratory at the European Astronaut training centre of the European Space Agency ESA in Cologne, Germany on May 18, 2016. Ina Fassbender / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

By Monir Ghaedi

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most of Europe on pause, the EU aims for a breakthrough in its space program. The continent is seeking more than just a self-sufficient space industry competitive with China and the U.S.; the industry must also fit into the European Green Deal.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A new species of bat has been identified in West Africa. MYOTIS NIMBAENSIS / BAT CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL

In 2018, a team of researchers went to West Africa's Nimba Mountains in search of one critically endangered species of bat. Along the way, they ended up discovering another.

Read More Show Less
Seabirds often follow fishing vessels to find easy meals. Alexander Petrov / TASS via Getty Images

By Jim Palardy

As 2021 dawns, people, ecosystems, and wildlife worldwide are facing a panoply of environmental issues. In an effort to help experts and policymakers determine where they might focus research, a panel of 25 scientists and practitioners — including me — from around the globe held discussions in the fall to identify emerging issues that deserve increased attention.

Read More Show Less
A damaged home and flooding are seen in Creole, Louisiana, following Hurricane Laura's landfall on August 27, 2020. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Elliott Negin

What a difference an election makes. Thanks to the Biden-Harris victory in November, the next administration is poised to make a 180-degree turn to again address the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less