Sometimes it feels like problems are too big– they feel so enormous that our actions feel small and insignificant in comparison.
I believe that we can solve the problem of plastic pollution– and I’m not alone. Many researchers believe this is possible.
What can you do?
Personal: Reduce single use plastics in your life. It is hard. They are everywhere. You don’t need to be perfect. Every bit helps. Refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Join a CSA or visit a local farmer’s market to reduce your use of plastic-wrapped food.
You may be lucky enough to have a refill store near you, like my local ReBoot Eco which can help you avoid single use packaging for many cleaning and beauty products.
Systemic: Contact politicians at local, state, and national levels. Ask them to support
policy that reduces single use plastics, creates robust recycling systems, promotes
designing with recycling in mind, and holds producers accountable for the extended ‘life’ of their products.
Find your representative here.
Many political scientists argue that we can have the biggest impact at the local level– where our voices and votes carry more weight. Local and state politics may feel impenetrable– but a simple phone call or email to elected representatives can make a big difference at these levels.
Economic: Tell the producers of the products you love that you do not like single
use plastic packaging. Otherwise, how will they know why you have stopped using their products? We can demand better, more sustainable packaging.
Support producers that use alternatives. Tag them in social media to call attention to companies that are thoughtful about their packaging.
Scientific: Download apps like the marine debris tracker or cleanswell. Collect data on
litter in your community for scientists! You don’t have to live near a beach– data on litter and pollution can be collected anywhere in the world.