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Can I Really Make a Difference?

How to initiate change 

Many of us have read Tipping Point. When I browse Instagram it appears that many IG folks believe that plastic pollution is now at a tipping point- we need to do something now or there will be no going back. So what can be done? Some people believe that all plastics need to be banned. But, in our opinion it just doesn’t make sense to ban all plastics. Plastic isn’t all bad- it can be found in our cars, medical devices, technology, and the list goes on. Plastic is light, durable, flexible, and we do need it. But what we don’t need is single use plastics. Most of social media users agree, and most of the world agrees. In fact, many countries have already banned single use plastics- the US is sadly trailing way behind in global efforts. In 2018, 27 million tons of plastics ended up in the landfill. Of the 35 million tons of plastics created in 2018 only 8% was recycled (EPA.gov). Clearly, the US has a problem.  

So, what can we do? Does it start with tiny steps that we are individually in control of? Is it radical change? Perhaps its all about education? Maybe we all need to learn more and be accountable for our actions? I posed this same question to an IG feed about plastic pollution and the response I got was crickets. It’s funny how everyone is angry when IG user posts a photo about a beach littered with plastic, yet when asked about what we can collaboratively do to initiate change- no one steps up to the plate.  

Here is what needs to happen. We need to be the change. We cannot idly sit by and watch our world be destroyed. We must take ownership; we must not walk by a piece of trash and justify not picking it up with “it’s not mine” or “I don’t want to get my hands dirty.” We must refuse single use plastics. We must vote to end the production of single use plastics and ask our local businesses to stop offering single use plastics. This is our planet. This is our home. If we wait long enough, there will be a tipping point and most likely, it won’t be in our favor.  

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