The Dangerous Life Cycle of Plastic Made Real
When we think about the dangers of plastics, we mostly think about the environmental impact of those bottles or bags, or PVC piping when we are done with them and throw them away. After the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio on February 3rd, we have a terrible illustration of how dangerous plastics are for us through their entire life cycle. According to Bloomberg News, “This tragedy reminds us we have to pay attention not to just what happens to plastic when you are done with it, but the whole life cycle of using massive amounts of toxic chemicals that have to be transported all over the world to make plastic products.” This is according to Judith Enck, a former administrator at the US Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration and now an advocate against plastic pollution.
The spill impacted both the air and the water for miles around, as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate, isobutylene, butyl acrylate, and vinyl chloride was released into the air. Residents, even tens of miles away, could smell odors coming from the crash site. And while the EPA tested air quality, that is not the only way these chemicals can impact the environment. Public health experts point out that our soft objects - rugs, couches, bedding, absorb the contaminants and we come into very close contact with them.
The waterways are also sites for contamination and about 3,500 fish have died according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The primary toxic chemical identified in the water is butyl acrylate, which is used to make polymers and resins, including those found in plastics and paint. The next issue is that when it rains or snows, more contaminants will run into the water and the land as they are washed away from the site. This disaster is not going to end soon for the land and the people near it.
This moment, when we are all seeing the impact of plastics on our world, is the time to take action. We can change the way we shop - buying #plasticfree for our body care, home goods, and shopping bags. We can support organizations like Beyond Plastics, and we can commit ourselves to companies who take the #plasticfree initiative seriously like we do at Alpine Provisions. We may not be the people who make the laws or enforce them, but we can be the people who make the change. We have the power to change the system and save our planet and the beings on it, one bottle at a time.
We may not be the people who make the laws or enforce them, but we can be the people who make the change. We have the power to change the system and save our planet and the beings on it, one bottle at a time. Start the transition to plastic-free products now with our Alpine Provisions plastic-free bundles and enjoy a little savings while you do your part to make the world a better place for all who live here. It may seem like a small gesture, but it's small gestures that start a revolution.