Beyond Plastic to deliver tips on reducing single-use plastics
Tips on how to reduce plastic use will be shared at a lunchtime seminar hosted by the Bermuda College this week.
Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce and the college teamed up to bring back their Eco Lunch and Learn series.
The presentation on Thursday, which will also be streamed online, will feature Katie Berry, of Beyond Plastic Bermuda.
Ms Berry is a member of Keep Bermuda Beautiful and leads the Beyond Plastic Bermuda team.
A spokeswoman for the seminar said: “Her presentation will guide attendees through the many issues surrounding single-use plastic, its impact on both our health and the environment and ways you can easily start your journey to reduce their use in your personal lives.
“BEST and Beyond Plastic’s Erich Hetzel will join Katie after the presentation for the Q&A.”
Amy Harvey, an earth and environmental science lecturer at the Bermuda College, said: “The abundance of single-use plastics in our environment has been driven by decades of convenience-based consumerism.
“I don’t think that the designers of this material could have foreseen the pervasive damage that it would cause to our natural environment as well as the health of all that rely on a clean, functioning environment.”
She added: “Single-use plastic never fully breaks down but instead becomes microscopic pieces of micro plastics.
“These tiny pieces of plastics are making their way to the bottom sediments of the sea floor as well as bioaccumulating in the bodies of organisms.
“A recent study shows that it is found in human breast milk. There is also evidence that micro plastics are getting into the lungs and crossing the blood-brain barrier.
“This issue cannot be ignored. Slowing down the tap of plastic use and finding sustainable alternatives is the way forward.”
Jennifer Flood, the executive director at BEST, said: “Go back a few years — I had no idea where plastic came from. I simply took it for granted as a very convenient medium for all sorts of things. Who knew back then all the ramifications associated with this ‘taken for granted’ material?
“Now I know, plastics are derived from petroleum products which are toxic to human health and the environment from beginning to end.
“The factories where plastic is produced are polluting their local environment and harming the people living in the vicinity.
“Plastics of all shapes and sizes are found on the ocean floor and micro plastics are alarmingly abundant in the atmosphere.”
She added: “We’re all familiar with articles about marine animals choking to death on plastic, or starving to death — their digestive systems clogged with plastic.
“What is now becoming apparent is that the plastic micro particles which enter the human body through the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe are not all excreted, but can be found in the blood, organs such as the lungs and human placentas.
“What harm they may or may not cause is hotly debated, but let’s apply the precautionary principle and assume that a product made from a carcinogenic product has no place in the human body.”
Ms Flood said: “The adage ‘ignorance is bliss’ is so wrong — items that are sold in groceries, clothes shops, children’s toys, etc that we thought were safe, user friendly, are too often shown to be otherwise. Single-use plastics especially so.
“Knowledge is power. Let’s use the knowledge now available to us. Learn more, make informed choices, discuss the issues surrounding plastics, and support the Government’s single-use plastic ban.”
The free Eco Lunch and Learn presentation will run from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday at the Bermuda College, Room G301.
Registration is not required and online attendees were invited to submit questions for a “lively Q&A” through the chat options on the social media sites.