There is no secret that plastics and packaging affect the environment. From videos of turtles being harmed by plastic straws to dead fish appearing with bottle rings around their necks, it can be taken away that our affect is literally killing the life around us. We have peacefully coexisted with the other species on our planet, yet our advancements now are leading to disasters for them. Switching packaging to a much more environmentally conscious alternative would most likely see the longevity of the world around us. Our footprint on this planet should not be one of death and destruction, but of help and life.

Growing up, my parents had always told me that “All life is equal.” That killing a bug would be no different than killing a dog, therefore we should treat everything in our world the respect it deserves. This outlook has continuously taught me to be mindful of each step I take. If most plastic and packaging companies sit and think through each of their own steps, we can avoid serious accidents. By adopting more environmentally safe packaging system, we could greatly help the life around us that can’t help itself. Fish cannot defend themselves against an oil spill, but humans are able to clean it. people do not recognize that every single one of these animals needs our assistance. They fail to see the obvious here: life is life. That, in itself, is a miracle. Life is something so unique that, so far, has only been found on one planet amongst hundreds of billions. That is something worth protecting. If we start the process of changing now, life has a fighting chance. The road that we have placed ourselves on is projected to only last until 2050. That means all life, including our own, will quickly cease to exist. These changes can honestly start small; from changing the way that packaging is made to designs that are less directly harmful to animals to making them biodegradable. While these changes may cost every company a bit more to produce, it is up to them to establish this safety. It is our duty, as humans, to defend the life around us.

Changing the way packaging is made may also benefit our environment. If we can stay away from plastics and use cleaner, easier paper and cardboard it could do the world around us justice. Simply switching that can always give the environment the boost it deserves. Our role on this Earth is to avoid death, not cause it. Death in the oceans would decrease across the world. Species endangered by our actions may have a possibility to live. Changing our packaging system has the possibility to do all.

Going green affects not only us, but the world around us. It is not fair that we get to thrive while the life around us dies. Switching how our packaging is done to create to better environmental conditions is one of the less cost-effective things we can do. It is our role to preserve life, because it is much, much bigger than us as individuals.

Essay by: Lance Magnin
Arizona State University

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