Plastic has become so ubiquitous in our society that we barely even notice it is there anymore. We grab water bottles without blinking, we spot plastic bags stuck in tree branches and it seems normal, and chances are we use at least 10 different forms of plastic every day without making a big deal. Plastic is super convenient and super disposable, so why would we pay more than the 30 seconds we spend using it, thinking about it? Well, it turns out that the trash problem plastic creates is actually a really, really huge deal. Every year we produce 300 million tons of this material and it can take thousands of years for it to even break down. Just think about it, you use a plastic bag to carry your groceries for about 15 minutes, but that bag goes on to live in a landfill for around 1,000 years. Just take two seconds to think about how many plastic bags you’ve used in the last week and what their collective lifetime will be – scary, huh?
And that’s not even the worst of it. Of the plastic trash we produce, around 8.8 million tons get dumped into the oceans where it currently endangers 700 marine species with extinction. Just recently, we saw a 37-foot-long sperm whale who washed ashore after consuming too much plastic. If we don’t take steps to reduce the amount of plastic we are putting into the environment every year, we stand to lose many more species.
Luckily, there are many passionate people who refuse to ignore the massive problem that plastic is causing to our planet. Christine Ren is one of these people. Ren is a documentary filmmaker who has blended her knowledge of marine ecosystems with skill in dancer to create stunning videos and images that highlight the reality of how people interact with plastic. In her latest project “Blind Spots,” Ren teamed up with Brett Stanley Photography to create an epic underwater conservation-themed dance photoshoot.
The use of a blindfold shows our collective apathy towards the impact of our choices.
Surely, if people were forced to see where their used disposables end up, they would think twice before carelessly grabbing a bag in the store.
There is hope, however, as Ren explains, “The market shifts rapidly based on the demands of consumers, which means we can shift our world away from unsustainable materials, such as plastic, if we so choose.”
The truth is, as consumers we have a lot of power. We have already seen a number of compostable, biodegradable alternatives to everyday plastics debut in response to consumer demand. If we keep pushing for better products, then there is a huge opportunity for innovation. Getting people to recognize their power is one of Ren’s primary goals through this project. If you’d like to help her actualize this, click here.
But we don’t have to wait for edible bags to become the norm in stores, we can start making a difference right now. If we all make an effort to identify where we use plastic and actively look for alternatives, we can drastically cut down on the amount of plastic pollution that finds its way into the oceans.
As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, One Green Planet believes that reducing everyday plastics from our lives is not about giving up anything or sacrificing convenience, but rather learning to reap the maximum benefit from the items you use every day while having the minimum impact.
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.