The Plastic-gate. Part one
The topic of plastic is so complex that we have decided to break it into parts of... infinity. Regular plastic, PET plastic, BPA free plastic, eco-plastic. Is there a plastic that can be composted? Is good plastic really good? Can I really save the world by refusing disposable plastics? And the list of questions goes on and on. Today we’re just going to scratch the surface of the subject and learn more as we dig deeper.
My first experience with seeing plastic pollution was in Turkey near the Black Sea 10 years ago. That beach was a pile of plastic and from sand dunes, you could see that it has been layering up there for a while. The increase of plastic in the last decade has been enormous. Data shows that
...we are producing 300 million tons of plastic every year...
and about 40% of that is used for packaging. Only about 9% of plastic is recycled. So where does the rest go? Well, I can tell you that 10 years ago, maybe even 5 years ago I did not know about recycling. I did not think of reducing y consumption. I had no idea about reusable substitues for disposable things. I have added my fair share to 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste that is in our landfills and litter polluting environment.
" Maybe life in plastic was fantastic for a Barbie in the ’90s...
and we have certainly contributed to make this a reality - every bit of a plastic ever made is still with us, however, there is no better time than now to think about overconsumption of disposables and sustainable alternatives.
In our family, we used approximately 7 plastic bags a week. That’s about 365 plastic bags a year. And 300 meters of plastic food wrap. Have you thought about your number? Reusable substitutes of disposables coupled with thoughtful shopping habits can noticeably cut plastic waste. We started using Till Zero cotton produce and shopping bags.
Another thing to keep in mind is that we cannot recycle our way out of this mess. Recycling itself requires resources and creates waste. However, loads of plastics are not recyclable. Plastic wrap is not recyclable, it is not reusable and it adds to the pile of waste. It can be easily replaced by beeswax wrap. It can be used as a wrap for sandwiches and cover for bowls. It can be rinsed in cold water and reused. Beeswax food wraps made by a small business in Lithuania.
Even though plastic makes only 10% of waste produced yearly it is a visible pollutant. Alternatives are available so why not to use them? We do support shift in the economy towards reusable, non-plastic alternatives and the money we spend determines where the industry goes.
Here are some other sustainable substitutes for disposable things.