Portrait: Beth Terry, Plastic free life is possible

First of all is to greet everybody a happy new year. We face 2015 filled with new and exciting challenges and from Sinplástico we want to encourage you to continue taking steps to reduce our dependence on disposable plastic.

To start the year optimistically, we want to bring up, as positive and inspiring example, the story of Beth Terry.

Beth lives in Oakland -California- and has been, since 2007, denouncing the problem resulting from the indiscriminate use of plastic, reporting plastic-free alternatives, and encouraging, with talks and awareness campaigns, to take steps to reduce the use of plastic.

Beth Terry

It all started in June 2007, while recovering from surgery, she read an article entitled “Our Oceans Are Turning Into Plastic… Are We?” Along with the text there was a picture showing the carcass of a dead sea-bird; its belly full of plastic debris the animal had confused with food.

The impact of seeing everyday objects as common as bottle caps, lighters, or toothbrushes led her to the conclusion that through her unconscious overconsumption, she was personally contributing the the suffering of creatures she hadn’t even known existed.

And that same week she committed to stop buying new plastic and began to relate her progress on a blog, http://myplasticfreelife.com where she tells her daily struggle and offers advice, alternatives and ideas to think about.

Beth maintains that one person’s changes can make a diffrence, that our personal changes matter. And encourages us to stop using plastic with these eight reasons:

  1. Stop doing harm to other living creatures: our garbage kills millions of animals and pollutes the environment.

  2. Protect our health and the health of our family: plastics contain additives (phthalates, bisphenol A or dioxins) which have very harmful effects on health.

  3. Support the creation of ethical business: the search for alternatives to plastic helps the creation of environmentally conscious companies.

  4. Develop our own ingenuity and self-reliance: create your own alternatives without plastic (toothpaste, creams, meals), fix things, lend and borrow tools and machinery, share your ideas, use your imagination.

  5. Examine our values: ask what is actually important and really necessary.

  6. Ask for what we want: ask the companies and the brands you work with to reduce their use of plastic.

  7. Motivation to work for systematic and global change: promote initiatives and changes of legislation in other to make governments getting involved in a change of system.

  8. Set an example for others: whenever you make a gesture like going shopping with cotton bags you motivate someone else to follow your example.

And, in conclusion, Beth assures us that we have the power to change the world by consuming only what we need, not what others tell us we need.

It is not just a question of rejecting plastic, but becoming aware of how we live to change our habits because, as she says, “… what we really appreciate, love and enjoy does not come inside a plastic bag.”

4 thoughts on “Portrait: Beth Terry, Plastic free life is possible”

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