What would life be like with zero-plastic? Would life on earth be more comfortable without it? How many sea creatures could we have saved? How many other animals would have benefited from a plastic-free planet?
About 100-million marine life deaths are caused due to pollution, however, plastic pollution isn’t entirely responsible for all of these deaths, other factors like oil and chemical leakages play a big part too. Sea creatures can also die from other causes. Not all of these deaths would have been prevented in a plastic-free world.
We could question whether forests would be completely green or if water would be safer to consume, and if the factories used to produce plastic would excrete as many chemicals that contribute to air pollution.
On ground, we know that the misuse of plastic contributes to other animal deaths and pollution. But did you know that plastic also helps to improve sustainability, and when it is used responsibly it can protect our natural resources and prevent wildlife from becoming extinct?
So, what would the world be like if plastic just disappeared? Your activewear, underwear and makeup would be gone. Cars, buses, planes, trains, cell phones, laptops, play stations, credit cards, and cash would be gone. Waterpipes would disappear. Electricity lines would create a danger to any human or animal that went near the lines.
SO, DO WE NEED PLASTIC TO KEEP ON LIVING?
By avoiding using plastic by bringing lunch to work in glass containers, or packing groceries with re-usable shopping bags, not buying cold drinks or waters or food in plastic containers, you’re still far away from going plastic-free. This is not to say that these aren’t important ways of using plastic responsibly, it’s just that plastic is everywhere. We are dependent on plastic. Without it, your cold drink tin would corrode in three days, there would be no tea bags, meats and cheese would be wrapped in paper (maybe more trees would be cut down, so maybe the forests wouldn’t be greener).
One of the main benefits of plastic is keeping foods, fruits, and vegetables fresher for longer. Without it, basic food preservation wouldn’t be possible. We would need to grow and raise it locally too. Organic waste would fill the landfills and become an environmental concern. Clothing would be limited to natural fibres and animal fur. That means no underwear, activewear, jeans, tights, sweaters, and jackets – unless you’re happy to wear fox and rabbit fur.
We also use plastics for technology, furniture, and other important items like reading glasses and sunglasses, prosthetics, vitamins and in medicine, which help us to keep healthy and alive.
Without plastic, you also wouldn’t be able to use electricity, there would be no plastic circuits to build your phone or computer. There would be no inexpensive adapters either. We also wouldn’t be able to protect wildlife like rhinos from becoming extinct, nor would we be able to keep ourselves safe.
SO, WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE OPTION?
To not use irresponsible plastics like straws, earbuds, six-pack plastic rings, plastic grocery bags and to re-use, re-purpose, recycle, and use plastic responsibly.
You can buy re-usable items like travel mugs, and water bottles. You can also wrap your food with beeswax or soy wax paper. Most clothes contain polyester or nylon, which is made of plastic too. So, to decrease your use of plastic consumption, you can buy clothes second-hand, or trade clothing with a friend, or if you’re up for some creativity upcycle them. Often, it’s much easier to be somewhat ignorant and complain about plastics, but without this material, we wouldn’t be able to live the life that we are currently used to.
Plastic contributes to many positive aspects of our lives.
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