Plastic packaging has some advantages over other types of packaging. It is lightweight, strong, flexible, moisture-resistant, and affordable. Plastic packaging is also recyclable. You probably don’t think twice about tossing that plastic take-out container in the trash. But have you ever stopped to wonder what happens to all of those containers once they’re thrown away?
It turns out quite a lot. Most plastic food containers are made from a type of plastic called polystyrene, which is not biodegradable. That means it can take centuries for polystyrene to break down in a landfill. And even when it does start to break down, it doesn’t disappear — it just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces.
So what happens to all of those plastic food containers? Well, unfortunately, a lot of them end up in the ocean. Millions of plastic waste are dumped annually into the world’s oceans. And that plastic waste can have devastating consequences for marine life.
Turtles, for example, often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish — one of their favorite foods. As a result, many turtles eat large amounts of plastic, which can block their intestines and cause them to starve.
Plastic waste can also cause birds to choke or suffocate. And fish often mistake small pieces of plastic for food, damaging their digestive systems and making them more susceptible to disease.
The problem of plastic pollution is a serious one. But there are things you can do to help:
1- Recycle your plastic food containers whenever possible
Recycling is one of the best ways to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment. And it’s quite easy to do — most cities have recycling programs that will pick up your recyclables curbside.
2- Reuse your plastic food containers whenever possible
Before you recycle your plastic food containers, see if there’s any way you can reuse them first. For example, you can use plastic storage containers to store leftovers or pack a lunch.
3- Avoid using disposable plastic food containers whenever possible
Whenever possible, try to avoid using disposable plastic food containers altogether. Bring your reusable containers when you eat or pack your food from home.
4- Educate others about the problem of plastic pollution
One of the best ways to combat plastic pollution is to educate others about the issue. Please spread the word about the problem of plastic pollution, and encourage others to do their part to reduce plastic waste.
5- Support organizations working to combat plastic pollution
Some organizations are working to combat plastic pollution, both in the United States and worldwide. Consider supporting these organizations financially or volunteering your time to help with their efforts.
The problem of plastic pollution is a serious one, but there are things we can all do to help reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment. We can all make a difference by recycling, reusing, and avoiding disposable plastic containers. And by educating others about the issue of plastic pollution, we can help raise awareness and bring about even more change. Another great idea would be to look for eco-friendly and alternative packaging options. Engage TopPop Packaging and learn more about eco-friendly packaging.