Plastic Polluting our Planet

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Hello, everybody. My name is Amanda, and I'm 15 years old. I used to use a plastic straw every single day until I learned some facts about them.

In the Los Angeles area alone, ten metric tons of plastic fragments—like grocery bags, straws, and soda bottles—are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.

Over the last ten years, we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the previous century.

50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.

Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.

We currently recover only five percent of the plastics we produce.

Why is that so bad? Well for starters 46 percent of plastics float (EPA 2006), and it can drift for years before eventually concentrating in the ocean gyres. It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade. One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans. The body can absorb plastic chemicals—93 percent of Americans age six or older test positive for BPA (a synthetic chemical)

Much more information can be found at https://www.ecowatch.com/22-facts-about-plastic-pollution-and-10-things-we-can-do-about-it-1881885971.html http://www.choosetogostrawless.com/ https://thelastplasticstraw.org/about-us/ http://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/no-straw-please https://www.banthebottle.net/articles/its-not-just-the-bottle-the-ubiquity-of-the-plastic-straw/

Unfortunately, we can't reverse some of the things we've already done to this beautiful planet. What we can do is make some changes. Anything from asking for no straw, bring a reusable bag, use your own utensils (rather than disposable), buying from farmers markets, use a refillable cup/bottle, to making your staples yourself to avoid plastic can make a world (no pun intended) of difference. What I'm asking today, is that you sign this petition. Not that hard, right? :D

I will be sending this request to places like Panera, Starbucks, Safeway, Dunkin Donuts, and more. What I'm asking of them is to use less plastic and styrofoam. To incorporate more recycling cans into their locations. To only give plastic bags to those who ask for them. To use paper straws rather than plastic. To find an alternative to Styrofoam takeout containers. To stop putting things in plastic that doesn't need to be.

Have you ever seen the movie Wall-e? It stars a cute little robot who picks up trash. Remember how awful Earth looked? The whole time I was watching that movie I just wanted to go hug a tree (I didn't actually hug a tree). I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad about their choices, I'm just trying to inform!

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope we can work together to make 2018 a much friendlier place (for the people and the planet). <3



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