The White Plastic Epidemic – What Is It? Why Is It So Bad?

The White Plastic Epidemic – What Is It? Why Is It So Bad?

The White Plastic Epidemic – What Is It? Why Is It So Bad?

We’re going to guess if you’re reading this, you’re probably an eco-friendly person already. And since you are eco-friendly, we can also guess that you are already against the idea of plastic pollution.
We all know it ruins the world to have plastic pollution in the oceans, on our land and hurting animals. But there’s one kind of plastic that is worse than others: white plastic. The kind that forms plastic straws, forks, knives, and more.
Because when we have that kind of plastic pollution in the ocean, it can be very dangerous to innocent animals. It’s this plastic – made exclusively by humans – that nature can’t digest.
So today we’re going to look at the white plastic epidemic – and learn where it comes from, the unfortunate effects, and what YOU can do to fight it.

How Is Plastic Made?

Plastic actually starts out as organic and naturally-occurring compounds like plant cellulose and crude oil. The most popular types of plastics are called polypropylene and polyethylene and they are made from petroleum.

Petroleum has many components, two of which are natural ethane and propane gas that fuel many modern conveniences. Once these two compounds are “cracked” in high-temperature furnaces, and combined with a catalyst – they become a powdered polymer.

Then all the poison additives are melded into the plastic in a giant blender. It is melted, extruded (or forced through a forming die) and then cooled and chopped up into chunks that manufacturers purchase.

What starts as a natural biodegradable substance becomes unnatural and toxic through this process.

The Long And Gruesome Lifecycle Of Plastic

Plastics like this can last for hundreds and possibly 1,000 years in some forms. The whole lifecycle of white plastic pollution looks something like…
Being formed into everything we use for modern life: forks, spoons, knives, bags, you name it.
After it is used, it gets discarded - and it ends up in a landfill - or worse, the oceans. 40% of all plastic is only used once.
That really doesn’t seem like an efficient use of something that immediately goes to polluting our environment, does it?
That’s the whole reason why all of these huge garbage-dump slums have been popping up throughout the world. People in countries with giant landfills have to live inside of a sea of plastic pollution that may never go away.

The Unfortunate Consequences

When there’s plastic in the ocean, it’s even worse.
Oftentimes white plastic comes in a sharp or tubular form like a straw or a fork that can easily kill or maim an innocent sea creature by ending up in their mouths. If white plastic in the ocean is accidentally swallowed it can cause fatal damage because it can’t be properly digested.
But if it doesn’t do that, then it breaks down into smaller and smaller “micro-plastics” -- ocean pollution that floats around collecting even more toxins, just waiting for a fish to eat it. Plastic bags in the ocean are well-known for this.
Eventually this dangerous ocean pollution becomes a part of the fish that humans capture for food… And humans end up eating the plastic waste in the ocean (and all the toxins that come with it!).
Since plastic bags in the ocean can take hundreds of years to biodegrade, it’s poisoning fish and humans alike.
That’s one of the reasons we highly suggest being vegan. Plastic waste in the ocean gives a whole new meaning to “circle of life”, doesn’t it?
Humans are creating highly toxic plastics that last for hundreds of years – only to use them for 2 minutes and then discard them. And they only cause problems after that, for animals and for us.
This is the white plastic epidemic.

Our Best Alternative

But luckily, there is something much better for the environment that we’d like to tell you about today. It is a healthy alternative to petroleum- and poison-based plastics, and it’s called PLA.
PLA stands for polylactic acid and it is mostly made from corn starch. This makes it not only biodegradable but also compostable – which means that instead of hundreds of years of problems, it can be totally re-absorbed back into nature in only 12 short weeks.
Since it is made from corn starch, not only is it natural but it is also made from “bio-mass”, meaning things that were once alive. Petroleum may have once been alive, but it’s been millions of years and therefore it is not bio-mass. It’s not renewable.
But PLA is, and that’s what makes PLA officially a “bioplastic” and very safe for the environment. If people were to buy PLA forks, spoons, and knives - and replace the white plastic epidemic with a bioplastic solution…
Then the world could start to become a better place overnight. We’d almost instantly be able to stop adding to the problem, and not make this epidemic any worse.
Your personal choices really do matter - and together, we can make a better world.
Luckily, it is easier and more convenient than EVER to get PLA plastic! In fact, if you’re ready to make the change RIGHT NOW, we can help you. Just check out our PLA Plastic products.

Jake Eck

Jake has been a copywriter and blogger for the past seven years and has recently become a digital nomad to soothe his craving for world travel, currently cruising the U.S. in a converted camper van with his dog, Mara. He loves writing about saving our planet and figures there’s no better inspiration to write than setting up a table and laptop in America’s most beautiful national parks. When you don't see him writing, Jake finds peace in long drives with a stocked cooler of ice cold coconut water while dancing to the music from 90s rollerskating rinks!

Let's Have A Fact Based Discussion