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Too much plastic

To the Journal editor:

Help, I’m drowning in plastic! If Earth could talk, that is what it would say.

Look around a parking lot, streets, or anywhere, really. You will see a variety of plastic pieces of different sizes, including cigarettes which contain plastic in the filter.

From exposure to sunlight, wind, water, and mechanical forces, these plastic pieces break down into smaller and smaller pieces, barely visible “micro plastics.”

Eventually, micro plastics break down further to nanoparticles, (one billionth of a meter). These micro and nano plastics wash down into rivers, lakes, and seas, or are suspended in the air. They are found in fish, seafood and human tissue.

Only about 9% of plastic worldwide is recycled. Due to a lessened demand for crude oil and fracked gas (the materials plastic is made from), it is cheaper to make new plastic.

Much of the plastic put out for recycling is being buried, incinerated, or sent to countries in Southeast Asia or Africa, where there is no infrastructure to deal with it.

To reduce plastics in our environment, we need to to avoid single use plastics whenever possible. Reuse bags for groceries and produce.

Ask for alternatives to plastic packaging. Ask your congressional representative (Jack Bergman for the Upper Peninsula, 202-225-4735) to pass laws banning single use plastics, such as shopping bags, straws and styrofoam containers.

Further information can be found at beyondplastics.org.

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