Global Wave To Halt Plastic Production & Save Our Planet

People seldom think of water when they think of plastics,
but making a plastic water bottle requires six
times as much water as the bottle itself

With over 5
trillion pieces of plastics floating around in our
oceans, the dire repercussions of pollution on all marine
life have come to light and become impossible to ignore. We
know all plastics can starve
birds and suffocate sea life, but further research
reveals a more complex reality: plastics are equally
detrimental to human health. Thousands of chemicals present
in plastics have been proven to cause hormone
disruption, leading to developmental issues and even
certain types of cancer.

are everywhere, raising eyebrows as they infiltrate our
food chain, triggering an alarm on the health risks tied to
perpetual exposure to plastics. Humans are believed to
consume 78,000
and 211,000 microplastic particles every year. Not only
are they in the food we eat and the water we drink, they are
in our skincare
products, 60%
of our clothes, and even in the air
we breathe.

To add on to an already startling
list, plastic waste is a disease
vector, and the entire lifecycle of plastics contributes
directly to climate change. Promoting widespread public
awareness of the damage caused by plastic to human, animal,
and all biodiversity’s health is one of the most crucial
steps we can take towards addressing human addiction to

EARTHDAY.ORG’s global theme for Earth Day
2024, Planet vs. Plastics, calls for the end of
plastics for the sake of human and planetary health,
demanding a 60% reduction in the production of plastics by
2040, and an ultimate goal of building a plastic-free future
for generations to come.

To achieve this ambitious
goal, we must focus on several key areas: firstly, raising
awareness about health risks; secondly, advocating for the
rapid elimination of all single-use plastics; thirdly,
pushing for an end of fast fashion; and finally, investing
in innovative technologies and alternative materials to
construct a plastic-free world.

Plastics extend beyond
an imminent environmental issue, presenting a grave threat
to human health as alarming as climate change. As plastics
break down into microplastics, they release toxic chemicals
into our food and water sources and circulate through the
air we breathe. Plastic production now has grown to more
than 380
million tons per year. More plastic has been produced in
the last ten years than in the entire
20th century, and the industry plans to grow explosively
for the indefinite future.

More than 500
billion plastic bags — one million bags per minute —
were produced worldwide last year. Many plastic bags have a
working life of a few minutes, followed by an afterlife of
centuries. Even after plastics disintegrate, they remain as
microplastics, minute particles permeating every niche of
life on the planet.

billion plastic beverage containers were sold last year
in the United States – that’s more than 300 bottles per
person in the world. A few of them will be converted into
park benches; none of them will be made into new plastic
bottles and 95%
of all plastics in the US won’t be recycled at all.
Even the 5% of plastics being recycled are “downcycling”
to inferior products or shipped to poorer countries for
“recycling,” leaving the demand for virgin plastic

The fast fashion industry is a huge
contributor to plastic waste, and many don’t even
realize it. The fast fashion industry annually produces over
billion garments. Overproduction and overconsumption
have transformed the industry, leading to the disposability
of fashion. People now buy 60%
more clothing than 15 years ago, but each item is kept
for only half as long.

Approximately 85%
of garments end up in landfills or incinerators, with
only 1%
being recycled. Nearly 70% of clothing is made from
crude oil, resulting in the release of dangerous microfibers
when washed and continued contribution to long-term
pollution in landfills.

Social injustice and
fashion are directly intertwined, with exploitative
working conditions, low wages,
and widespread
child labor. For far too long, the industry has relied
on a fractured supply chain and an almost total
lack of governmental regulation.

By shedding light
on the alarming health impacts of plastics and emphasizing
the urgency to halt their production, we can inspire
individuals to take action and make informed choices.
Phasing out single-use plastics would eliminate 50%
of plastic pollution plaguing our planet annually. Creating
garments out of textiles free of synthetic, plastic based
materials would eliminate 34.8%
of all primary microplastics in our environment. A 60%
reduction by 2040 is an attainable and vital goal. United
together, we can build a plastic free future for generations
to come! 

To learn more and join the movement,
please visit the Earth Day





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