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It’s very hard to live without plastic, right? Actually virtually impossible. But what’s wrong with so much plastic? Is it really that bad for the environment? YES – it most definitely is, and this is why:









I was ruminating on how most plastic in the US is created, and it occurred to me that in many ways we are eating plastic – or at least the residue from its toxic production, whether we like it or not. Here’s why:

Most plastic in the U.S. is made from natural gas. The extraction process releases a slew of air contaminants, which indirectly end up in our food supply because whatever is spewed into the air, winds up falling on the earth or into the water. It then makes its way up the food chain and it stores the flesh of animals and fish – which 90% of Americans eat on a daily basis. With me so far? To compound this air assault, the manufacturing process of many kinds of plastic, especially PCV, spews even more toxic chemicals into our air – it it follows the same path up the food chain. One of the these toxic chemicals is called dioxin, and it’s a carcinogen.

When the plastic actually comes into our home, it can leach chemicals into our food and water, and off-gass chemicals (a slow release of chemicals as it breaks down), into our homes, polluting our indoor air quality.

And what about when we’re done with the stuff? Ugh – burning it in incinerators is perhaps the worst because some seriously toxic emissions are released during incineration.

So, it really makes sense to use as little plastic as possible, and to support organizations such as Plastic Tides, who are trying to do something about this huge global problem.

Remember, every piece of plastic that’s created not only pollutes our air during the manufacturing process, but it also lives for thousands of years because it cannot and will not biodegrade (break down/decompose) and with trillions of new tons of the stuff being manufactured every single day – there’s only so much room on the planet for it to go – which is why a bunch of it is now found in the Great Pacific Garbage Dump – an “island” of plastic particles, the size of Texas, which is bang in the middle of the Pacific ocean.

Here are 5 easy ways to go plastic-free:

simplystraws31. GIVE UP PLASTIC STRAWS: 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded everyday in America. 99% of them are not recycled. They are actually tricky to recycle because they are typically made from plastic #’s 2 and 5, and depending on your city, they may or may not accept these both these numbers in curbside recycling – moreover the numbers aren’t written on the straws, so most people don’t bother. However there is a brilliant solution – buy a selection of glass straws. I am in love with Simply Straws, which are made of such strong glass that they offer a lifetime guarantee on each straw you buy.

2.DON’T USE SKIN/BODY CARE, OR TOOTHPASTES THAT CONTAIN MICRO-BEADS: These tiny beads are now added to hundreds of face polishing products and body scrubs to for exfoliation purposes. But they are plastic, and go straight into our water supply – yuck! Avoid them and look for biodegradable exfoliating agents such as jojoba bead, clay, oatmeal etc. The toothpaste micro-bead issue is even worse because dentists have recently discovered that these tiny beads get lodged in our dental cavities, causing periodontal disease.

3.USE PLASTIC BAGS FOR FOOD AND DOGGIE WASTE MADE FROM A BIODEGRADABLE MATERIAL: There are now so many great bio-degradable bags for sale, it makes sense to buy them. Check out BioBag for every kind of plastic bag you could want.

4. GIVE UP SINGLE USE WATER BOTTLES: This is a no-brainer, so please do it!

5. SHOP FROM THE BULL BINS, AND BRING YOUR OWN CLOTH BAGS: That way you stop with the plastic bags or cartons that usually house nuts, cereals and grains.

There are many more ways in which you can minimize the plastic in your life, and I’d love to hear your ideas.

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Sophie Uliano is New York Times best-selling author and leading expert in the field of natural health and beauty, who takes a down-to-earth approach to beauty focusing on what's truly healthy. Join my masterclass to get started.