Winter 2019 True Natural Health Magazine
Written by Dr Joseph Mercola.
Extracted from Dr Mercola’s enewsletter of 6th March 2019
How to minimise your consumption
Families around the world are now living without plastic, avoiding grocery bags, storage containers, toothbrushes and produce bags. At the same time, challenging, online and brick-and-mortar businesses are available to make your transition easier, if not painless.
It may take up to 1,000 years for plastic to completely degrade. In the meantime, the product breaks down into micro-plastic particles, infiltrating our food and water supply, damaging the environment and placing our health at risk.
Plastic pollution and chemical absorption is associated with numerous forms of cancer, obesity and neurological, reproductive and developmental toxicities, as well as diabetes, organ malfunctions and heart disease.
Plastic is made from a number of different chemicals, some of which are known to act as endocrine disruptors. An endocrine disruptor is similar in nature to a natural sex hormone and interferes with the normal functioning in our body.
While not visible, plastic chemicals can be found in fast-food packaging and processed and boxed foods, including those marketed as organic. Use has skyrocketed from two million metric tons in 1950 to 380 million metric tons in 2015.
This represents an astonishing 18,000 percent increase over 65 years. At this growth rate, the Earth could very well be covered in plastic in another 65 years, demonstrating the power that manufacturers have to destroy life.
Only eight percent of plastic is ever recycled, and even then, some of the items tossed in the recycling bin may never make it to the recycling centre. Some of it ends up contaminating entire loads of recyclables that would otherwise have been re-used.
What You Can Do to Reduce Your Use
The next step after recycling is to reduce your plastic use. It’s important to start slowly and build gradually so the changes become habitual and stick. Consider the following:
- Use re-usable shopping bags for groceries;
- Take your own left-overs container to restaurants;
- Bring your own mug for coffee, and bring drinking water from home in glass bottles instead of buying bottled water;
- Request no plastic wrap on your newspaper and dry cleaning;
- Store foods in glass or stainless steel containers rather than plastic containers and freezer bags;
- Avoid disposable utensils and straws and buy foods in bulk whenever you can;
- Opt for non-disposable razors, washable feminine hygiene products, cloth nappies, handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues, rags in lieu of paper towels and infant toys made of wood rather than plastic;
- Avoid processed foods stored in plastic bags with chemicals – buy fresh produce instead;
- Consider switching to bamboo toothbrushes and brushing your teeth with coconut oil and baking soda to avoid plastic toothpaste tubes.