For me, these pictures (from National Geographic June 2018 magazine) gave me all the information I needed to know to start making a change in my lifestyle and community. The bird was covered in plastic and could not free itself. The turtle was caught in a plastic fishing net and could only stretch its neck to the water’s surface to breath but could not move. We are drowning in plastic. We have floating islands of trash in our oceans. We have shredded plastic in our oceans that marine animals are eating. Some of our beaches contain more litter than sand. Some of our sand is made up of a percentage of plastic. We are swimming in plastic as well as drowning in it. I am not even sure how much we are actually recycling in the United States. Much of our products for recycling goes to China and now China has stopped accepting products from the United States so those materials are going to the landfill.
We have a big problem on our hands but I believe we can fix this. I also believe we can fix climate change but buying a solar panel is more difficult then deciding not to use a plastic bag or a single-use water bottle. In my life, I will stop using single-use water bottles and bags as much as possible. I will never ask for a straw again from restaurant staff. I will work harder in my community to help all of us use less single-use plastics. I will advocate for compostable materials instead of plastic. When I see pictures like this or watch a video where a turtle has a straw stuck in its nose, all I can say to myself is that we are literally destroying our planet with our ease of use lifestyle.
When I am elected to represent Tennessee in the 89th district, I will work with communities, businesses, and corporations to ban single-use plastics. Please help me if you can. It is hard to run a campaign and save the planet! Stay tuned to my campaign to follow the plastic free journey in Knoxville, TN!
Resources to learn more:
Please watch this video about a turtle with a straw stuck in its nose. Hopefully you will never ever use a straw again.