[KEEN TO BE GREEN] A Numbers Game

Meher McArthur

At the start of 2018, the population of the world has now reached a staggering 7.6 billion people. Though much of this growth is in countries like India and China, where consumerism is less widespread than here, those cultures are catching up to us fast.

With consumerism comes lots of plastic in the form of packaging and single-use containers, so, increasingly, when we toss a plastic Starbucks cup in the trash in Los Angeles, we can be pretty sure this action is being mirrored by millions of other people all over the world. That’s millions of plastic cups trashed every day!

And very little of it is being recycled. National Geographic recently reported that only 9% of the world’s plastic is actually being recycled, and according to Greenpeace, over 12 million tons of plastic is thrown into the oceans each year, not only harming sea creatures, but also contaminating the seafood that we consume.

We may feel that there is little we can do as individuals to reduce the plastic trash in our landfills and oceans.

But we can work with family and friends to cut down our plastic consumption by refusing to buy heavily packaged foods, using our own containers and petitioning our grocery stores to reduce packaging.

We can also join plastic-free movements like Greenpeace’s Plastic Free Friday Campaign. I am not sure about limiting these efforts to a single weekday, but since we are playing a numbers game with our environment, if many people cut down plastic trash one day at a time, this may be a good place to start.

Leave a Reply