Today, there is a great deal of general awareness of the need to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic. Disposable plastic has become a problem of a chilling magnitude, the figures of which we hear every day, in all media.
The problem of disposable plastic, however, is often confused with the use of plastic in general, and so we would like to start by clarifying that plastic itself, as a material, is not harmful. Plastic is used in construction (saving up to 250 times more energy than was used to make it), plastic is used in the automotive industry, in advanced surgical technology and in millions of objects around us that have a useful life of years or even decades. It is a light and resistant material, useful and, nowadays, necessary.
The problem comes with the massive use of disposable plastic. Of the total disposable plastic that is produced, more than 40% is used only once. Then it is thrown away and, in a high percentage, ends up in the sea. Only 10% is recycled.
According to the UN, every year 13,000,000 tons of disposable plastic reach the oceans, or 13,000 million kilograms.
3,562,000 kg per day.
148,400 kg per hour.
2,500 kg every minute.
If we consider what an empty bottle or bag weighs, what volumes are we talking about? What is the size of this catastrophe, which is invading everything, including our organisms through microplastics?
Facing such a pessimistic scenario, it is necessary to consider a radical and large-scale change in mentality, habits and legislation.
We have already begun to change at corporate, institutional and governmental levels, with pacts, regulations and agreements of various kinds. It is time to create new habits at the social and individual level.
We are the change
To do so, it is not necessary to make great sacrifices: the key is to get used to using, worth redundancy, reusable (including plastic).
We propose a simple way to implement it. What if we all set a monthly goal to be pursued until the end of the year? Of course, the idea is to incorporate each month a new habit and maintain those already acquired in previous months.
7 months, 7 fundamental changes
JUNE. Your reusable bottle, with you everywhere. And your children's bottle, which they themselves can choose and which they will end up feeling as something essential.
JULY. No plastic straws to use and throw away. There are alternatives to other materials on the market and, if you can't always carry one, think of it this way: do you really need it?
AUGUST. Picnic baskets and reusable equipment for trips and excursions. And, who says excursions, says birthdays and any kind of event. Giving up disposable plastic plates and cups may seem like a big challenge at times, but how many times a year do these events happen? It's a punctual effort that's worth it.
SEPTEMBER. Back to school is a fantastic opportunity to say "goodbye disposable sandwich bags, hello reusable containers or cloth bags!”.
OCTOBER: Do you still use disposable plastic bags, especially when you have a last-minute shopping need? Put a fabric folding bag in your bag, you'll see how you use it much more often than you thought.
NOVEMBER. At work, glass or metal lunchbox. Or, even better, a thermo food flask that will prevent from abusing the microwave.
DECEMBER. Food in bulk and without plastic wrappers, please. You will still face many shopping situations where you won’t be able to avoid it, but the alternatives are becoming more numerous and once it becomes a massive preference, we ourselves will be drivers of change on the part of the establishments.
The movement has already begun, and it's unstoppable
The European Union has already adopted a law which, from 2021, will ban from our daily lives the use of certain elements of disposable plastic, such as straws, cutlery, balloon sticks... But we all know that we do not have to wait for the law to impose on us a change which is more than necessary. The sooner we get going, the sooner we will begin to see results.