We produce 2.01 billion tonnes of solid waste per year across the world. That’s an average of 0.74 kilogram of generated waste per person daily. And out of the billions of waste produced, only a few percent gets recycled.
If we let this continue, our planet will be uninhabitable in 30 years. So, it’s time to reduce our waste. Here’s why.
By the team at LastObject
Reducing Waste Helps Repair the Ozone Layer
We all keep hearing about the ozone layer. But what is it, really? It’s a thin layer of our planet’s stratosphere. It is responsible for absorbing ultraviolet radiation or UV rays from the sun.
This is important, because UV rays are dangerous to us and the environment. These cause sunburn, skin cancer, eye problems, immune deficiency disorders, and more. They also interfere with the growth process of plants and endanger certain plant species. WIthout the ozone layer, our planet will be uninhabitable.
Unfortunately, this important layer continues to deplete as time passes–even if protocols have been developed to protect it. And one major reason is waste.
Our waste emits different types of toxic substances. For instance, disposable products like tissue paper and makeup remover pads contain pesticides. Whenever we dispose of them, they usually end up in landfills or the ocean. And worse, they bring tons of pesticides with them.
Pesticides are detrimental to the ozone layer. They also harm both humans and animals in the process. If we want to improve the world we live in, we can reduce the waste we generate by switching to reusable products.
For example, we can switch to reusable tissue paper and reusable makeup removers by Waste Less Shop, EcoRoots or LastObject instead. Not only do these replace thousands of disposable waste, but they are also great for the planet. Plus, we will end up saving more money in the future.
Reducing Waste Helps Restore Our Oceans
Our oceans are currently greatly threatened by plastic waste. In fact, about 17.6 billion pounds of plastic waste sneak their way into the ocean, straight from the land. To help you paint a better picture, imagine dumping a huge truck of plastic straight into the waters every 60 seconds.
If you’re still not worried, plastic takes hundreds or even thousands of years to degrade. And marine creatures end up ingesting them or getting stuck in them. This also affects, because a lot of these creatures are part of our food chain.
In addition, waste makes the oceans more acidic, causing skeletons and shells to dissolve. If we want to help restore our oceans, we must reduce the amount of waste we generate. A great way to do this is by avoiding anything made of plastic and using organic products only.
Reducing Waste Helps Improve Air Quality
Our planet generates more than 380 million tonnes of plastic every year. Only about 8% gets properly recycled while a few percent gets incinerated. As for the rest? They end up polluting the environment.
Incineration is the act of burning plastic. The heat produced is then used as electricity to keep houses and offices warm. It also acts as a “better” substitute to burning coal or oil. Unfortunately, the incineration of plastic waste is actually bad for the environment.
Incineration releases harmful gases such as polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, and dioxins. These are of concern due to their effect on human health. In fact, their effects on our organs and systems have been proven in various experiments.
For instance, when dioxins enter one’s body, fat tissue absorbs it easily due to its chemical makeup. It also lasts in the system for years, creating damage in the immune system, reproductive system, hormones, and more.
If we want to reduce the occurence of plastic waste incineration, we must start reducing our plastic waste.
Reducing Waste Helps Protect Animals
Did you know that we are entirely responsible for the health of animals all over the world? And we are killing them because of our waste. In fact, over a million creatures die because of the waste we generate.
Marine animals like sea turtles, dolphins, whales, and even marine birds are harmed or killed by plastic waste that floats by the shoreline and in the ocean. Researchers have proven this by discovering tons of plastic in these creatures’ stomachs.
Land creatures, on the other hand, are constantly injured by waste disposed of carelessly. For example, cigarette butts have been discovered inside the stomachs of birds. Soda cans have led to deep cuts in the paws and faces of starving or parched animals. These animals have also had their heads stuck inside glass and plastic bottles.
Animals largely rely on our waste to survive. If we want to help protect these animals, we must not only be responsible of how we discard our waste. We must reduce them completely.
There are more reasons why reducing our waste is essential for a better world. These are just a glimpse of how the world can benefit from less waste. But if you want to help improve our planet, you must do your part starting today.