It’s 2019 – the time of viral memes and digital social movements. The catastrophe that is single-use plastic waste came on the mainstream media scene with an image of a sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged into its nose. Today, many restaurants and even entire municipalities have banned the item. That’s the power of a movement.
This month is Plastic Free July. What started in Australia in 2011 has expanded across the world. People are challenging themselves and their communities to refuse single-use plastic. By choosing one single-use plastic item to replace with a reusable item, we begin a revolution in ourselves. Cutting out plastic from our lives is no easy task – after all, it’s in our workplaces, businesses, and schools; single-use plastics can be found in our pantries, refrigerators, and every crevice of our home – they can even be found inside of us.
The impacts of plastic are great, but together we can move the needle. In Florida we are surrounded on three sides by ocean, fed by countless rivers and streams. Our trash meanders through our natural areas and into our seas, threatening our tourist economy, water sources, and way of life. It’s our responsibility to not only recycle single-use plastics but also cut our use of them as a whole.
This month Florida Conservation Voters will be addressing Florida’s plastic use, giving tips on how to reduce individual waste, and sharing our personal reusable-plastics journeys. When we commit to the challenge of phasing out single-use plastics in our personal lives, even one item at a time, we can make a difference.