Growing up in the 21st century has been deceivingly easy. With all the productivity and convenience surrounding us, life just seems really great. From fast food to fast fashion, our lives are constantly being affected by a rapidly growing consumer culture, and industries are adapting and producing like never before to provide for consumers who are constantly on the go.
However, with this new era of consumerism that makes everyday tasks so easy comes a large cost that not many people think about. Plastic is something that most people use at least once a day. But with the convenience of its use comes problems that outweigh its benefits. About one-third of the plastic trash we produce ends up in rivers, lakes and oceans, where it stays for hundreds of years without breaking down, injuring and killing wildlife.
That’s why I really want to see a change in our mindset and current habits. Phasing out the use of single-use plastics and turning to alternatives is the best way to reduce plastic pollution. That’s why I’ve been working with other students across the state to urge the Washington Legislature to support a ban on foam cups and takeout containers so that we can protect wildlife.
I don’t want to live in a world where animals are harmed by materials we use for a short time and then throw away, so we need to transition away from single-use plastics as soon as we can.