digital sm630 East Main Street
Canton, GA 30114
Phone: 770-213-7095
Fax: 770-213-7106

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24 August 2018

Reducing Single-Use Plastic Consumption to Keep Canton Beautiful

Plastic — it’s everywhere we go; it’s a product upon which we have come to heavily depend. It’s also littering everywhere we go now, too. Plastics are made from natural materials such as natural gas, oil, coal, minerals, and plants. Technically, rubber from the rubber tree is a plastic. The number of items that we encounter each day that are made of plastic are nearly infinite: car parts, toys, dishes, storage containers, office supplies, building materials, clothing, grocery/shopping bags, straws, cigarette filters, balloons, and the list goes on.

Most of us recycle our plastic that is accepted by our waste collection service. When we’re at the park, most of us search for the recycle receptacle. Even with that effort, “Every year, eight million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. It’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world. In 2025, the annual input is estimated to be about twice greater, or ten bags full of plastic per foot of coastline” (Plastic-Pollution.org).

“Many marine organisms can’t distinguish common plastic items from food. Animals who eat plastic often starve because they can’t digest the plastic, and it fills their stomachs, preventing them from eating real food” (EarthDay.org).

Our grocery stores offer reusable shopping bags, and sometimes, they’re even free with a purchase or donation. Some people have taken torn or stained clothing that was not in good enough condition to donate and used the fabric to make their own shopping bags. This is a great way to upcycle!

Plastic shopping bags are one of the worst pollutants on our planet as well as one of the most dangerous items. Animals and birds can get caught in the handles and perish. A plastic bag has been found at the bottom of the ocean at the deepest point of 36,000 feet in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench.

Here are some ways we can reduce our single-use plastic, and keep Canton beautiful and clean:

- Remember your reusable shopping bags, not only for groceries, but for trips to the farmers market and retail shopping of all kinds.
- Decline the plastic bag for your takeout food.
- Decline the use of plastic straws.
- Take your own cup to the coffee shop.
- If you do have plastic shopping bags, try to reuse them in your small waste cans or for picking up pet waste while on a walk.

There are so many ways to reduce our consumption of single-use plastic, I hope you’ll find your own path that works for you. Every little bit, every baby step we take will only improve our environment.