Why Should You Ditch the Plastic in Your Life?

Plastic is both a godsend and a nightmare when it comes to its many uses. There are naturally a number of plastic perks, allowing for lighter-weight car parts that help to boost your mileage, computer housings and even disposable syringes that help to limit the risk of infectious diseases. Even polystyrene is a great insulator and long lasting, so it helps to conserve energy in our homes. However, when we use plastics for unnecessary conveniences, we put the planet and ourselves in danger.

It sometimes harbours other toxic, secret ingredients

A study analysing the black plastic travel mugs that so many people use found that an alarming percentage of them contained brominated flame retardants, which is a toxic class of chemicals that have been previously linked to cancer. Researchers suggest that electronic recycled waste is winding up in our consumer products that we eat and drink from, and increasing our exposure to these chemicals.

It’s exfoliating the Great Lakes

Plastic is added to facial scrubs and personal care products used for exfoliating, in the form of microbeads. This means that they will almost certainly be found winding up in waterways and last for centuries, highlighting the careless way in which we use plastics. A 4.2 ounce tube of facial scrub contains around 356,000 plastic beads – this is as many as 450,000 bits per square kilometre, when sampling the water from the Great Lakes. Using a natural scrub or making your own with sugar and natural oils will save the planet and will arguably be better for your skin.

Your veggies are soaking it up

Plastics are ideal for greenhouses and growing veggies, but they also leech chemicals into the ground and onto the food we’re later eating. Greenhouse plastics are often coated in phthalates to make them last longer in the sun.

It puts guys at risk

Studies have found that a common chemical found in polycarbonate water bottles mimics oestrogen in the body, which could sensitise the prostate stem cells that may promote prostate cancer later in life. Opting for food-grade stainless steel or glass water bottles could reduce this risk.

Some chemicals in bottled water are so potent, they’re like hormone-replacing cancer drugs

A recent study in Germany found 25,000 chemicals in bottled water, some of which inhibited oestrogenic activity by as much as 60 per cent and androgenic activity by as much as 90 per cent. The latter of these hormones is on par with the prostate cancer drug flutamide. Researcher have also found that potent chemicals such as maleates and fumarates are present in some plastic bottles, chemicals used to manufacture the form of plastic resin.

Even fleas are eating it

Plastic pollution isn’t a problem just for humans – it also affects ocean creatures such as sea turtles. Even water fleas are consuming microplastic pollution. Cutting out unnecessary plastic uses could help preserve the planet and all that survives on it, not just the human race.

Plastic chemicals are fuelling adult diseases in kids

According to a recent study, the odourless and colourless plastic additives known as phthalates found in plastics are responsible for the rising blood pressure rates in children and teens. These chemicals are readily available in food containers and mix with the food we eat, meaning its not just the fat and calorie content we need to be concerned about when it comes to our diets. Cutting back on processed foods can help to lower these rates, as well as encouraging a healthier diet along the way.

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