We make single-use items out of plastic, a material that will outlive its consumer by hundreds of years after use?

Single-use plastics create a constant struggle between convenience, money and the planet. Unfortunately, it’s easier to choose money and convenience over the environment. Each and every one of us is guilty of being wasteful, especially when it comes to disposable products. How could we not grow accustomed to drinking water out of a sealed plastic water bottle or through a straw? Our choice of convenience over the environment has created a plastic pollution crisis and now it’s time to find the solution. We have all learned that everything comes with a price. The convenience of single-use plastics has a major cost; the future of our planet.

In the United States alone, we produce 300 million tons of plastic annually, nearly half of which is disposable. Petroleum-based plastics are commonly found in the US. When Petroleum plastics are recycled into new products, they require the addition of new virgin material and chemicals, making them difficult to recycle. Petroleum-based plastics are not biodegradable, which means they will often end up in a landfill. When these plastics are sent to a landfill they are buried under other trash or potentially end up in a stream of water that finds its way into the ocean. Although plastic will not biodegrade or decompose, it will degrade and break down into tiny particles after many years. During the process of breaking down, plastic releases toxic chemicals and additives which make their way into our food and water supply.

According to Science News Magazine, these toxic chemicals are now being found in our bloodstream. The latest research has linked these chemicals to cancer, infertility, birth defects, impaired immunity, and many other ailments.

There is a solution to our plastic pollution crisis, PLA. Polylactic Acid or PLA is a biodegradable and compostable alternative to plastic. It is made from rapidly renewable resources such as sugar cane and corn starch. PLA is an environmentally friendly material that can replace plastic in the disposables category. Plastic is only causing harm to our health and our planet, it is time to think before we buy. We need to live sustainably and reduce our personal waste to ensure a healthier and cleaner future for generations to come.

At Emerald Brand, we provide a wide range of sustainable disposables made from PLA and other alternative materials. Learn more about Emerald Brand and our products at www.emeraldbrand.com and become part of A Generation Beyond Recycled.