Earth’s oceans have always been a place rich in life and beauty. However, it’s being turned into a liquid desert filled with garbage. This paper will be answering the question on how to reduce the waste that gets packaged in all the Can a lesson from a children’s song be the key to a healthier tomorrow? Being someone who has practically grown up at the Oregon Coast, I have first handedly seen the devastating impacts of single use plastic on our environment. These plastics which are used in countless daily items have negatively polluted ecosystems, impacting the plants and wildlife within them. These plastics are nearly impossible to effectively dispose of, so they forever leave their mark. The older I got the more aware of these plastics I have become and the more I have noticed people use them without thinking about their impacts since they are such a common part of modern-day society.

Oftentimes, the use of these plastics is very easy to remove from your daily routine and can consist of switching to a compostable paper or stainless-steel straw or simply choosing to not use a plastic water bottle. By choosing to implement materials that can be reused, you are keeping them out of the landfill or from ending up on the ground. Because of how often and mundane these plastics are they can often end up being disposed of without a second thought. In my personal life, although it is not perfect, I have gone out of my way to use reusable water bottles and utensils whenever possible. However, when a single use plastic is unavoidable, I am sure to give it another life. This can be accomplished by reusing shopping bags as trash can liners or using empty plastic bottles as extra storage.

When grocery shopping, I have noticed that the more environmentally friendly products often come with a higher price tag. If more companies adopted sustainable packaging it would become the new normal. This would take the guess work out of how to properly dispose of materials that could negatively impact the environment. In the long run, this type of sustainable packaging could lower costs as less tax dollars would be put towards cleaning plastics and other materials from the oceans, beaches, etc. If more packaging clearly showed imagery of how to properly reuse or dispose of the material, it would encourage the consumer to not only purchase the product but complete the steps that positively impact the world around them. If more companies used this type of sustainable material, it would have a positive effect since consumers would feel confident in their purchase and less trash would be added to the forever growing landfill.

The Clean Up Song is widely known and praised for its theme of working together to accomplish a seemingly daunting task. The song includes the infamous line “everybody do your share” and this starts with brands everywhere adopting environmentally friendly, sustainable, and affordable packaging. This in turn gives consumers, regardless of their financial state, equal access to the materials to make positive choices for the environment. These steps would take the question out of having to choose between being environmentally or economically friendly and allows them to break the cycle of pollution without breaking the bank.

Essay by: Irie Lynn Louise Mock
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics

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