Podcasts, Unscripted

Seneca Media Unscripted: The Plastic Problem


In honour of #PlasticFreeJuly, we decided to take a closer look at our planet’s plastic problem and what can be done to help it. Most of us probably became familiar with efforts to reduce plastic when grocery stores started charging 5 cents for bags, and encouraging customers to bring their own reusable ones, right? Now, National Geographic has set out on a year long campaign to help people realize the impact of other harmful plastics they should be kicking to the curb.

National Geographic’s magazine cover for their Planet or Plastic issue.

When you look around you, how much plastic do you see? It’s everywhere and when you start to realize that, it can quickly feel overwhelming to imagine boycotting it. Instead of thinking about all plastic, National Geographic is encouraging people to reduce how much single-use plastic they use in their daily lives. ‘Planet or Plastic’ is a multi-year effort to raise awareness and educate people on the dangers of single-use plastic and how to reduce it.


What is single-use plastic?

Any plastics that are meant to be used once and then thrown away are defined as single-use plastic. This includes things like plastic straws,  utensils, water bottles, and the infamous shopping bags. Not only are these plastics meant for one time use, they also tend to be used daily which means it is piling up quickly and overflowing into the ocean. Once in the ocean, they wreak havoc. From poisoning our seawater to harming marine life, these plastics are doing significant damage, and do not belong in nature. A large part of the problem is that single-use plastics take years to decompose and we are running out of room to dispose of them, which leads to them littering our planet.


What can we do to help?

You may have heard lately about all the hype surrounding the boycotting of plastic straws. This isn’t to say straws are the main problem and boycotting them will solve everything. It’s just an easy place to start. For most people, straws are not a necessary item to consume a drink, so saying no to straws or using re-usable ones is an easy switch to make. Some companies are making the switch to paper or biodegradable straws to reduce their plastic footprints. Another common change is to use a re-fillable water bottle, instead of the plastic ones that are meant to be thrown away after they’re empty. If you find yourself grabbing plastic utensils with your lunch a lot, consider bringing your own cutlery from home instead.



Of course, while the problem is undeniable, there are several ways to approach this. On the podcast we discussed the different perspectives on this imminent issue, and some small solutions that can go a long way. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to find us @senecamedia on all our social media channels or email us at [email protected]m.

If you enjoyed our podcast, and would like to be a part of our discussions, we encourage you to suggest a topic you would like to talk about, and we are more than happy to chat with you!

In the meantime, keep hustling, and stay conscious of the plastic you’re consuming.