Letter: Help the environment — stop buying single-use products

(Wayne Parry | AP file photo) Trash lies on a beach in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Clean Ocean Action environmental group released the results of its annual beach sweeps program, in which nearly 374,000 items of trash were removed from New Jersey's beaches in 2017 by volunteers. More than 80 percent of the items were plastics, which can be deadly to the marine environment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American throws away 4.4 pounds of trash every day.

There are currently more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean, yet companies and communities continue to use disposable products. Garbage patches the size of small islands sit in the ocean. People are shocked and saddened by the amount of municipal waste we produce, but neglect to change their habits for the sake of convenience. Corporations advertise recycling, while they continue to manufacture single-use products. When are people going to realize that their actions have an impact on the world around them?

Countless solutions have already been presented in an effort to reduce waste, but for whatever reason, people believe that they don’t need to change, that they are not a part of the problem. The fact is, every one of us is part of the problem. We need to step up and say no to single-use products, and show companies that there are other ways to live that don’t include 4.4 pounds of trash every day. The world needs to realize that they can’t just throw things away, because “away” no longer exists.

Christine Tycksen, Cottonwood Heights

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