Plastic, plastic, plastic. The prolific use of plastic in our world is staggering — humans have created some 8.3 billion metric tons of the stuff , the equivalent 800,000 Eiffel Towers. Plastic pollution is a problem because of its long-lasting effects — this petroleum-based, man-made material never fully degrades. According to estimates by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one plastic bottle takes at least 450 years to break down. Recent research suggests that worldwide, only 9 percent of plastics ever made have been recycled . With numbers like this, it can be discouraging to try to tackle the problem. We find plastics littered from rivers to streets, ingested by land animals and aquatic species alike. But small lifestyle changes, education and outreach efforts can add up to make a big difference. Here are five individual actions you can take today to cut plastic pollution. 1. Reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse Tossing your plastic package into the recycling bin used to feel like a win, but after China and other Asian countries stopped taking our plastic waste in 2018, these packages have been piling up overseas . The bottom line: Recycling is not as straightforward as many of us once […]

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