How big is my plastic footprint?


I realize that I am not innocent here: I have a plastic footprint! I sometimes drink water out of a plastic bottle when I cannot find my cup or forgot it on my desk. I try to take my reusable shopping bags but occasionally a merchant will sneak an item into a bag and hand it to me and I will be in a hurry and not take the item out and return the bag saying  “use this bag on the next customer.”

Plastic bags and plastic water bottles are where I use most of my plastic. There are thousands of ways we use plastic at MUSC: for most purposes it is necessary and hard to find a substitute but in some cases, it is wasteful and not so necessary. Those non essential items are the ones that we can target: encourage staff to use less and eventually eliminate from our campus! What a huge endeavour but so necessary…

This article about the need to create more awareness and the efforts that certain companies are making to reduce their use of plastic makes me more determined to eliminate plastic from my way of life.

“About 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year. Only about 10 percent of that is recycled. Of the plastic that is simply trashed, an estimated seven million tons ends up in the sea each year.

There, it breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments over the years.

The tinier the pieces, the more easily they are swallowed by marine life. (One study found that fish in the North Pacific ingest as much as 24,000 tons of plastic debris a year).

Because much of the disintegrating mass is no longer in the form of solid chunks, it is hard to scoop it out once it gets into the ocean. And because no single nation or authority bears responsibility for the oceans, cleanup and prevention are largely left to nongovernmental organizations.”

Please help our oceans! Have pity on the fish! Think of your kids and grand-kids dealing with all that trash! Eliminate plastic from your life! It’s a worthy cause!


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