A recent major study found that we are eating enough plastic a week to make a credit card…
Plastic is ubiquitous in our environment with excessive and unsustainable use, coupled with its poor degradation and negligent disposal. It’s not only the plastic that we see with the naked eye, micro-plastics are also released due to plastic breakdown, oxidation and environmental changes.
This makes the environmental clean-up a monumental task, as we can’t take back the microscopic pollution and particles that have already been released.
The detrimental effects of plastic aren’t just seen in our external environment, our internal environment also suffers.
Phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA) are compounds used to make plastics but are also added to canned goods, perfumes, cosmetics, furniture, children’s toys etc.
Phthalates are a known as a “plasticiser “which gives flexibility to plastic, however they aren’t bound chemically to the plastic which means any changes in the environment including high or low pH, temperature, pressure, irradiation (UV, sunlight, microwaving,) can cause these to leach from the product it’s in.
These leached products are then absorbed by us through our airways, skin & digestive systems. BPA is a chemical component used to create plastic and is similarly leached and absorbed into our bodies.
So why should you care?
Because my friends, these compounds are known as “endocrine disruptors” (EDCs). They have demonstrated the ability to impact hormonal function including oestrogen, testosterone and thyroid hormones.
This impacts our reproductive systems (PMS, endometriosis, fertility), our metabolic health (including weight, blood sugar), behavioural issues and even exposure prenatally can impact growth and development of the foetus.
With our rate of plastic use soaring and our government acting like a bunch of short-sighted fools, what in the hell can we do?
We have power as the consumer to dictate the changes that we want to see in the world.
And if we can’t guarantee where our waste is going to end up, even with the best of intentions, the main thing we can do is to reduce the amount that we buy in the first place.
If you want to avoid EDCs and plastic you can follow some simple tips below:
- Use a reusable coffee cup and stainless steel drink bottle
- Don’t heat your lunch in your plastic Tupperware container, always heat it up using a pot or put into a ceramic bowl
- Head to your local deli, farm gate, butcher and baker and take your own containers. Get back in the kitchen and learn to love leftovers. These small businesses are super supportive when it comes to this but also really appreciate your support!
- Shop at a co-op/ bulk wholefoods (aka us J) Buy products in bulk amounts without the plastic packaging and know that you’re reducing a huge amount of waste
- Research your cosmetic and personal hygiene products. You can download apps like “Think Dirty” which is a huge database and rates products based on their toxicity.
Plastic Free July has been a huge eye opener. We’re still not perfect but have definitely seen a huge shift in the amount of waste we consume and dispose of each week.
We’ve been incredibly inspired by our Heal.thy Community and friends who’ve taken on the challenge as well!
So thank you for joining us this month and helping us Heal.thy Planet.