Pandemic Influence on Single Use Plastics; Tips to Minimizing your Footprint


Single use plastics are something that are found readily in your eyesight, it is the leading material in existence. Though the convenience of this product has benefitted individuals there has been substantial researching the negative effectives this has on not only ourselves but the environment as a whole.


The world's health is a topic that is unfortunately overlooked more times than not, using the Notre Dame Cathedral fire as an example. This historical monument suffered a tragic ending in the spring of 2019, as a community the world funded over $1 billion to rebuild the site within a matter of months. Whereas, Oceana is a foundation dedicated to cleaning up the oceans and restoring them to former glory is making an average of $40 million yearly (https://oceana.org/about-us/financial-information/). Why is it an object that covers over 70% of the earth is so often overlooked?


A study performed by Filho et al. (2021) created a survey in the forum of google questionnaire to determine the quantitative data of single-use plastics within the household. The dataset displayed that with the 202 participants that varied through 41 countries, not only did the use of single-use plastics increase but the purchasing of the objects increased (Filho et al., 2021). With only 10% of plastics being properly recycled, think about where all this garbage is going to land itself.



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If you thought of our oceans and environmental habitats then you are most definitely correct. As an individual residing in Ontario with no oceans around me, one might ask why this topic is something that I am so passionate about speaking about awareness on this subject? Well, not only does Ontario contain the over 250,000 lakes but this quantity holds 20% of the Earth's fresh water supply. Whether or not pollution in your mindset affects you, I promise you it does. For many countries the oceans and lakes supply a large quantity of food resources as well as other supplies in order to live. Each time you go to the supermarket and purchase seafood wouldn't you love for it to have a stomach full of plastic? Don't we all remember the viral video of a sea turtle with a straw being dissected from its nose? The use of single-use p


lastic straws has rapidly decreased, an amazing process though it shouldn't have stopped there.


Since the pandemic started, reusable programs have been put to a halt; fabric shopping bags, using personal mugs at coffee shops, disposable masks, and so forth. So what can you do to minimize your ecological footprint while staying safe? Well, you've come to the right place!

 

A Few Tips to Minimize Your Plastics Use!

  • Purchase a laundry basket for your groceries! Sounds silly right? Instead of using plastic bags to transport your groceries, keep an empty laundry bin in your vehicle and t


ransfer your groceries directly from the cart to the bin while in the parking lot. Not only does this save you money and our environment, but it also makes bringing the groceries in with less trips and no circulation loss from ATTEMPTING to make it in one trip!

  • Purchase a sprayable natural hand sanitizer! This allows you to safely reusing objects as they will be effectively disinfected. Look for these items in your local green stores as m


ost of them are part of the refill programs!

  • Use Laundry Strips- Not Detergents! Doing more laundry in the pandemic? I know I am, I purchased Tru-Earth laundry strips as I was doing numerous loads a week to make sure I was safe. I found my pods detergents were leaving residues on my clothing as well as affecting my delicates. These strips are also a part of my local green stores refill program!

  • Minimize Packages! Ordering packages online? This industry has increased exponentially since the pandemic, if purchasing online is necessary go to your settings and set them to minimize quantity of packages and waste! Amazon allows you to use more eco-friendly packaging and reduce the quantity of shipments to lower the fossil fuels!

Stay safe, both for yourself and the planet. Do your part, we only have 7 years to save our planet.



-l.m. fawcett


References:


11, A. (2020, August 11). Covid-19 has Canada using more plastic. what impact will this have on our fresh water? International Institute for Sustainable Development. Retrieved January 19, 2022, from https://www.iisd.org/articles/covid-19-has-canada-using-more-plastic-what-impact-will-have-our-fresh-water


Financials. Oceana. (2021, November 14). Retrieved January 19, 2022, from https://oceana.org/ab


out-us/financial-information/



Ford, D. (2020, August 17). Covid-19 has worsened the Ocean Plastic Pollution Problem. Scientific American. Retrieved January 19, 2022, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/covid-19-has-worsened-the-ocean-plastic-pollution-problem/


Leal Filho, W., Salvia, A. L., Minhas, A., Paço, A., & Dias-Ferreira, C. (2021). The COVID-19 pandemic and single-use plastic waste in households: A preliminary study. Science of The Total Environment, 793, 148571. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148571



Patrício Silva, A. L., Prata, J. C., Walker, T. R., Duarte, A. C., Ouyang, W., Barcelò, D., & Rocha-Santos, T. (2021). Increased plastic pollution due to covid-19 pandemic: Challenges and recommendations. Chemical Engineering Journal, 405, 126683. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2020.126683




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