Why are Single-use Plastics Harmful?

The Problem With Single-use Plastic and How You Can Avoid It

Single-use plastics are everywhere: in our iced coffees, in our grocery stores, and on our candy bars. As the most pervasive material on our planet, our addiction to single-use plastics is destroying our oceans, wildlife, and our health, and we will have to pay the price for it. 

What are Single-use Plastics?

Single-use plastics are goods made from fossil fuel-based chemicals and are meant to be disposed of right after it is used. These include plastic bags from your local grocer, plastic straws in your coffee, plastic utensils from your takeout order, and plastic water bottles.

Though plastic was invented in the mid-19th century, it wasn’t until the 1970s that its popularity skyrocketed. Manufacturers began replacing traditional paper and glass items with lighter, more durable, and affordable plastic alternatives.

Since the 1950s, more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic have been produced. In 2015 alone, production came to roughly 448 million tons. 

Single-use plastics are the perfect example of the throwaway culture. Instead of investing in quality, eco-friendly goods that will last, we often prioritize convenience over durability. Think about the last time you used a disposable cup or plastic bag. Why did you choose those over its reusable alternatives?

Society has become dependent on plastic, yet we rarely stop and wonder how this material might be impacting us, our wildlife, and our environment in the long-run.

We can find plastic polluting our streets, oceans, and landfills. On the streets, plastic litter can enter our waters through storm drains. Many sea animals get caught in the plastic and can no longer move freely; they choke, starve, or lose limbs due to amputation.

In landfills, plastic that isn’t recycled slowly breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces (due to the heat of the sun) until they become microplastics, which are hard to detect. Not only that, but microplastics, like microbeads used in facial scrubs and microfibers in polyester clothing, end up in the water and eaten by wildlife.

A report also found that the production of plastic contributes to global warming. The process of sourcing materials and producing plastic releases toxic substances into the air and water. Additives, such as BPA and plasticizers, are often added to plastic to improve its properties. These toxins and additives, which can cause cancer and other health impairments, evaporate into the air and can be absorbed by the skin and through the foods and drinks we consume.

How Do We Avoid Single-use Plastics?

Plastic pollution is a serious problem. 

The choices we make add up quickly. Making one simple swap, like bringing a reusable bag when shopping, cooking more often to reduce your use of plastic takeout containers, and using eco-friendly metal or glass straws, can spare the environment hundreds of plastic items each year.

It is obvious that we need to take every opportunity we have to reduce our harm to the environment and the global population. 

So are you ready to ditch single-use plastics?

Sustainably-made and thoughtfully-designed, the NAYAD Tumbler, Roamer Bottle, and Metro Mug are the best alternatives to disposable drinkware. Available in a variety of colors and sizes to choose from, these reusable stainless steel vacuum insulated drinkware are BPA-free and built to keep your drinks at the right temperature without sacrificing the environment! 

Stay hydrated with NAYAD and save the planet!