Plastic packaging is always at the forefront of debates around climate change and the environment. We see it in pretty much every product on the market, and it needs to be something the world cuts down on. However, plastic packaging in food is perhaps the place where things could and should change the most.
As humans, we should avoid eating foods with plastic packaging as much as we can. Obviously, this isn’t always easy, but there are some strong reasons to try to commit to as close to a plastic-free diet as you can.
Save the oceans
What happens to the majority of plastic packaging in food? Somehow, it ends up in the ocean, where it has devastating effects on the marine life within it. Many species of fish and other marine animals are dying out because of the toxic fumes released by plastic in the ocean. Moreover, you have animals that get caught on plastic packaging and suffocate. You also have ones who might ingest plastic and die. There’s nothing you can do to help a choking turtle or dolphin out in the ocean, even if you have a CPR and choking certification. Instead, you focus on preventing it from happening. This starts by cutting down on eating foods that use plastic packaging, especially when it’s not necessary.
Reduce carbon emissions
The plastic that doesn’t get dumped in the ocean will usually end up in landfill sites where it is burnt. As you can imagine, this is terrible for the atmosphere as so many carbon emissions are released when it burns. The biggest issue is that there are so many types of plastic that aren’t recyclable. Case in point, the plastic packaging for most bags of chips. Such a common snack for people to have, yet you can’t recycle the packaging, leading to tons of plastic waste every year. By opting for plastic alternatives, you can eat and know you’re not contributing to global pollution.
Improve your health
Cutting down on foods with plastic in them isn’t just beneficial for the planet – it’s beneficial for you. Some food products will be tainted by chemicals that leach into the food by its packaging. Typically, this includes foods packaged with plastic that contains BPA. You can get BPA-free packaging, but all plastic still has the potential to leach residues and dyes into your food. Effectively, it’s just not a very healthy form of packaging – why do we use it then? Well, because it’s cheap and convenient, that’s why.
If you look around, you can almost always find plastic alternatives when it comes to food packaging. A simple example: milk in a glass bottle instead of a plastic one. When you do your next shop, think about what you’re buying and consider how much plastic is making up your diet. If you can find alternatives, use them, meaning you should only consume foods with plastic packaging when you don’t have a choice. This way, you reduce your carbon footprint, help keep the oceans clean and healthy, and improve your own health at the same time.