Hopefully, we all understand that plastic isn’t biodegradable (which means it doesn’t naturally decompose) and is attacking out aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Right now, there are plastic islands floating in the Pacific and Caribbean oceans that are entering the stomachs of marine and aerial animals, floating onto our once beautiful shores, and trace amounts are entering our digestive systems through the food we eat. Let’s be honest folks: If any of our ecosystems are destroyed so ends humankind at some point, so what can we do about this?

Well, I have some small scale and large scale options we can implement for a brighter future.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

I hate to beat a dead horse, but, this is so simple to do in your home even if the recycling truck doesn’t come through your neighborhood. In most instances, you’ll get some cash for taking the items separated into paper, plastic, and glass bags to the recycling center. European countries like Norway and Sweden put America to shame with how progressive they are in their recycling endeavors. It’s honestly ridiculous how wasteful we can be because we don’t think about how throwing these non-biodegradable items in the trash will affect us directly. Selfish...sorry to say but we can do better.

Film sets, for example, throw thousands of water bottles away that aren’t even empty! One solution to this issue is to have the crew bring their own water bottles to set and production offers them the five-gallon jugs they can refill from. I personally put up recycling stations around a set once, because there was a dishwasher guy who collected bottles to take to the recycling center at the end of the day.

I went so far as to put a picture of a dead bird with plastic in its stomach to make my point, which was… let’s be kind to our environment. It worked and all it took was one person!

Pave new streets with recycled plastic

Let’s tackle what to do about the islands of trash! A few versions of aquatic trash collectors have been invented that I believe our governments should invest in.

One of them is a floating machine that uses a conveyor belt to pull trash out of the water into a basket that collects everything. Another option is going to an already established recycling center to buy Recycled Plastic. Once enough plastic is obtained it could be melted and used to pave the streets of let’s say… Los Angeles (with all the cracked streets from earthquakes).

The plastic industry is too big of a moving machine to stop abruptly, so if we could reuse what’s been wasted, we could test out the long-term benefits of using reconstructed plastic. Think of how much plastic there is in the ocean and on land, the plastic could be melted and reconstructed to withstand certain environmental occurrences and if it does happen to break off it could be collected and reused again.

Build houses and furniture out of recycled plastic

There’s a company called ByFusion that uses recycled plastic to make bricks to Build Houses out of. They are already making strides in helping to develop low-income houses. This could be a reduced cost for building homes in the US. The companies Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove build home appliances made of recycled plastic and metal. Should we start to incorporate these changes in property development, we could help the environment by not depleting our natural resources and create affordable low-income housing.