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Plastic is everywhere

Plastic is everywhere
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If you take a look around your kitchen or office right now, chances are you’ll notice you’re surrounded by plastic – water bottles, to-go coffee cups, straws, plastic grocery bags, food wrappers, take-out containers, single-serve coffee pods, disposable utensils and produce bags. These are all examples of single-use plastic products, which is a hot topic nowadays based on both environmental and health concerns.

It’s certainly not realistic to remove all plastic from your life, but let’s examine some stats that may encourage you to reduce your single-use plastic footprint by ditching straws, switching to reusable water bottles, bringing cloth bags to the grocery store and more.

Plastic production is off the charts

Plastic production is off the charts
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The popularity of plastic, which began rising in the 1950s, is growing out of control – 8.2 trillion kilograms of plastic have been produced around the world, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances. And there’s no sign of slowing down, considering scientists say that another 12 trillion kilograms will be produced worldwide by 2050. Check out these 6 easy ways to give plastic use the flick.

Plastic ends up in our oceans

Plastic ends up in our oceans
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“Every piece of plastic that has ever been created will remain in the environment in some form, but once we conveniently throw out our rubbish at home, wind and runoff carry our waste from landfills and streets down the sewer and directly to the ocean,” says Mystic Aquarium’s chief clinical veterinarian Jennifer Flower, DVM, MS. “[Given that we are] globally producing over 320 million tonnes of plastic annually, the marine environment is taking a big hit from our daily disposal of plastic. Our plastic consumption is directly affecting the marine life in the ocean including fish, which is a main source of food for humans as well. Often our society is so focused on making our lives more convenient in the short term, but in the long run, our health and the health of marine life are at the expense of those everyday conveniences.” Here are 7 simple earth-friendly habits you can adopt today.

Most plastic is single-use

Most plastic is single-use
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Did you know that roughly half of the annual plastic production – in 2016, this number totalled around 335 million metric tons – is destined for a single-use product? This includes items like plastic bags (which have an average lifespan of 15 minutes), packaging, water bottles and straws. For instance, did you know that traditional liquid laundry detergents are usually packaged in high-density polyethylene (HDPE plastic jugs) and that 68 percent of these bottles are not recycled? Companies like Dropps, eorth and The Dirt Company are committed to reducing single-use plastic waste by offering laundry cleaners in recyclable or reduced plastic containers or pods.

BPA mimics human hormones

BPA mimics human hormones
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BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical that has been used in the production of plastics since the 1960s and often comes into direct contact with food, including plastic packaging, kitchenware, and the inner coatings of cans and jar caps. Studies show that BPA interacts with oestrogen receptors and plays a role in the pathogenesis of several endocrine disorders, including female and male infertility, early puberty, breast and prostate cancer and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). There’s a reason you see so many products being marketed as BPA-free these days.

BPA is bad for babies

BPA is bad for babies
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A recent report reveals that using plastic containers to store or heat food in microwaves could pose a potential health risk to children. One report cites “an increasing number of studies” that suggest certain food additives can disrupt hormones, growth and development, as well as increase the chances of childhood obesity. The most concerning artificial additives? You guessed it: BPAs found in plastic containers and metal cans. Parents are urged to avoid using microwaves to warm food and beverages or placing plastics in the dishwasher.

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BPA linked to obesity

BPA linked to obesity
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As a known endocrine disruptor, BPA can interfere with normal endocrine system functioning, including the serum levels of hormones that regulate metabolism. There is growing evidence that BPA may play a role in the development of obesity both in utero and later in life. Find out 5 ways to trick your fat genes and keep the weight off.

BPA affects thyroid function

BPA affects thyroid function
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Thyroid hormones, which regulate energy in the body, are also altered by BPA. In November 2016, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published evidence linking BPA with autoimmune thyroid disorders (such as Hashimoto’s disease). Lab tests measuring BPA exceeded measurable detection limits in 52 percent of individuals with elevated thyroid antibodies. The toxic levels of BPA had caused their thyroid gland to be under autoimmune attack. Here are 9 silent signs of a thyroid problem.

BPA causes birth defects and miscarriages

BPA causes birth defects and miscarriages
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A new study has found evidence that BPA may negatively impact women’s reproductive systems and cause chromosome damage, birth defects and miscarriages. Researchers from Washington State University and the University of California, Davis, found that monkeys exposed to BPA in utero experienced reproductive abnormalities that increased their risk of giving birth to offspring with Down syndrome or even suffering a miscarriage.

BPA increases blood pressure

BPA increases blood pressure
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Megan Casper, MS, RDN, a dietitian and owner of Nourished Bite Nutrition, says that consuming beverages from cans lined with BPA can raise blood pressure. In clinical trials, volunteers drank the same beverage in glass bottles or cans. Two hours after consumption, researchers measured their urinary BPA concentration and blood pressure; BPA urine levels were higher in the canned group, and their systolic blood pressure jumped by an average of 4.5 mm Hg, compared to the glass bottle group. Here are 18 ways to keep blood pressure in check.

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Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team