On the Mission – Embrace our Earth on 22nd April for Earth Day

Home > Blog > RealTalk with Norwex > On the Mission – Embrace our Earth on 22nd April for Earth Day

Welcome to our On the Mission newsletter

This Earth Day, let’s ignite our passion for a healthier planet and human health by addressing plastic pollution, a form of chemical pollution. Plastics not only harm the environment but also pose serious health risks due to chemical additives. These additives can leach into oceans, contaminating marine life and eventually entering our food chain.

Exposure to plastic chemicals, known endocrine disruptors, can lead to hormonal imbalances, reproductive issues, and even cancer. Moreover, the sheer volume of plastic produced annually, coupled with low recycling rates, results in massive environmental degradation. Plastic takes centuries to biodegrade and is a significant threat to marine life, with billions of animals affected annually.

It’s time for action!

The Problem:

Did you know that plastic pollution is chemical pollution?  Read on to learn more!

Plastics and Human Health:

  • Plastic products contain chemical additives such as flame retardants, UV stabilisers and colourants.  When plastics break down in our oceans, these chemical additives can leach into surrounding waters.  (Source: Ocean Conservancy)
  • Once in the marine environment, plastics can also absorb chemical pollutants from surrounding waters and transport them great distances as they move around with ocean currents. When animals eat plastic, these chemical pollutants can leach into their stomachs, causing toxic effects.  Then we eat the sea animal leading to more exposure for us. (Source: Ocean Conservancy)
  • Exposure to plastic chemicals may harm our health. Many of the chemicals in plastics are known endocrine disruptors, and research has suggested that exposure to humans could cause health impacts including hormonal imbalances, reproductive problems like infertility, and even cancer. The phthalate DEHP, as just one example from dozens, is often added to plastic goods like shower curtains and garden hoses to make them more flexible—but was also found to be a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (Source: Single-Use Plastics 101 (nrdc.org))   

Plastics and Planet Health:

  • We produce 300 million tons of plastic each year worldwide, half of which is for single-use items. That’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. (Source: Single-Use Plastics 101 (nrdc.org))
  • 91% of all plastic isn’t recycled at all. Instead, it ends up in landfills or in the environment. Single-use plastics in particular—especially small items like straws, bags, and cutlery—are traditionally hard to recycle because they fall into the crevices of recycling machinery and therefore are often not accepted by recycling centres. (Source: Single-Use Plastics 101 (nrdc.org))
  • Plastics take from 450-1,000 years to biodegrade and many cannot be recycled at all. (Source: End Plastic Addiction | Turtle Island Restoration Network (seaturtles.org))
  • Plastic is found in the stomach of more than 90% of seabirds, over half of the world’s sea turtles and is tangling and choking whales, sharks, and other marine mammals.  (Source: End Plastic Addiction | Turtle Island Restoration Network (seaturtles.org))
  • More than 500 billion plastic bags—one million bags per minute—were produced worldwide last year. Many plastic bags have a working life of a few minutes, followed by an afterlife of centuries. Australians use an estimated 5 billion plastic bags a year, that’s just over 13 million new bags being used every day. In New Zealand, the ban on single-use plastic produce bags for example will remove 150 million plastic produce bags from circulation each year. That’s 17,000 plastic bags, every hour. (Source: Single-Use Plastic Bags Factsheet (Cool.org)

But what can you do?

Cleanup of plastic pollution is also cleanup of chemical pollution! Think about the small changes you can make to reduce our impact on the planet and on our health.

  1. Avoid single use plastics like cutlery and straws that come with takeout foods – how about you take your own with you? Save money and plastic!  Norwex solution: Stainless Steel Straws and shorter length Stainless Steel Straws.
  2. Purchase reusable shopping bags and forego plastic or paper at the grocery store AND all retail stores where you shop. Norwex solution:   Instead of using the plastic produce bags to put your apples in, use the Norwex Reusable Produce Bags (set of 3) .
  3. Avoid plastic wrap or aluminium foil on your leftovers, instead, use the Norwex Stretchy Silicone Lids. There are 6 sizes in each pack so you always have the right size on hand. Stretchy Silicone Lids
  4. Instead of buying a plastic cutting board, where the tiny microscopic plastic pieces may get into your food, consider the Norwex Eco-Friendly & BPA Free Cutting Board in Large, Mini and Small
  5. By just recycling about 20% of plastic laundry containers, we are reducing roughly 93 tonnes of new plastic a year into the cycle in Australia and New Zealand. By ditching plastic scoops in our laundry powders across Australia and New Zealand, we’re saving approximately 25 tonnes of plastic each year. (Source: Waste-Free World | unilever.com.au) Use a strip based laundry powder that comes packaged in a paper sleeve instead like our free from harmful chemicals and eco-friendly Laundry Strips
  6. Share this information!  Help others to make the switch.  Host an event around plastics and health.  Find those that are passionate about all things healthy and sustainable and ask if they’d like to make their passion their business!