(Volume 5 of 5 of Plastic Free July Series)
“We did not inherit the Earth from our ancestors – we borrow it from our children”
– First Nations of Turtle Island proverb
The above reminds us there is cause-and-effect at play here. Sometimes that can be a negative reminder. In this case, I like that the reminder is positive and future-focused, nudging us to remember that living sustainably can help to ensure a better future for generations to come. Our actions can plant the seeds of ideas and energy that can help overcome our issues.
Think about it. Why would you make something that you’re going to use for a few minutes out of a material that’s basically going to last forever, and you’re just going to throw it away. What’s up with that? –Jeb Berrier, BagIt Movie Source: Plastic Free July
Plastics have been causing many issues to the land we occupy, the water bodies teeming with undiscovered species and the air that our life depends on. Plastic Free July has come to an end but the lessons learnt in all 5 Volumes of this series (see links at end) can be taken with us on this journey to eliminate our addiction to plastic from our lives. The #PlasticFreeJuly campaign originally started as an attempt to raise environmental awareness on the plastic issue we help drive in our daily lives and to educate the public on how to combat it.
In the four previous Volumes of this series, we discussed the issue at hand, solutions people can implement in their daily lives and the need for policy and legal framework to ban plastics. It was seen that the amount of plastic waste will only continue to increase and be broken down into smaller pieces (microplastics) causing even further irreversible impacts on the environment. While individuals can do their part by switching to environmentally friendly alternatives and recycling properly, change will not happen unless manufacturers are legally mandated to create products that are easier to recycle and take care of their own waste.
Going plastic-free is not going to happen overnight but small steps can help individuals make a difference in reducing the amount of plastics that end up in the landfill. Plastic Free July can be seen as your start to limiting the use of plastic in your daily lives, if you don’t already do so. If you are past this step, explore options to incorporate environmentally friendly plastic alternatives. Similarly pushing for the government to ban single-use plastics and make plastics more recyclable can be big steps for Canada.
As the official month of the Plastic Free July Series comes to an end, may the environmentally-friendly practices that drive this campaign continue as the plastic problem doesn’t end here. Let’s make a difference to create a better planet for future generations.
For more on the Plastic Free July Series see:
- Volume 1: Strong and Plastic-Free
- Volume 2: Breaking Up With Plastics
- Volume 3: Volume 3: A Guide to a Plastic Free Beach Day
- Volume 4: Revolve, Reduce, Reuse
To learn more about the impacts of plastics see the:
Impact of plastics on the ocean: Two Million Too Many
Presence of Plastics in the soil and food we eat: Plastic Food
Shanella Ramkissoon is a Masters in Environment and Sustainability candidate. Her background is in the field of Environmental Science and Environment and Resource Management. Her interests lie in environmental conservation, especially for marine species such as coral reefs, turtles and dolphins. In her free time, she enjoys landscape photography, baking and art and craft projects.