Every day I am walking from our apartment to the trash box located on our floor. And I see a massive stack of waste, most of it not separated by kind of waste. And I think; wow, this is only from us and from this floor, how does our collective trash look like from the area, from this town, from this province, from this country?
We try to recycle packaging material as much as possible and try to prevent buying products packed in single-use plastic. Of course, as you will experience yourself, this is not always possible but it is a mindset that I carry with me all of the time.
Here are some facts (source earthday.org):
- Humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute in total
- It is estimated that 4 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide annually. Only 1% of plastic bags are returned for recycling
- 500.000 Straws are used in the world every day.
- 500 Billion disposable cups (plastic and styrofoam) are consumed every year. Most of it will still be present in the landfill 500 years from now
- Single-use plastics frequently do not make it to a landfill or are recycled. A full 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans. That is equal to pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute. If we don’t do anything this could mean that in 2050 there is more plastic than fish in the oceans.
- Even when single-use plastics are sent to landfills they aren’t harmless. Landfill liners can leak harmful pollutants into the watershed and plastics on the tops of the landfills can be carried away by the wind.
So instead of asking how we can recycle more plastic, let’s work together to consume less of it in the first place!
How can you involve yourself on a daily basis for that, following the 6 points above?
- There are many bottles that you can easy use for refill. You can buy one or even re-use the plastic bottle you bought.
- Bring your own bag to go to the supermarket like in the old days before plastic shopping bags had ever been seen.
- Use re-usable straws or even no straw at all! I mean for me drinking my tea, water or any other drink without a straw is more tasty.
- Demand a ceramic cup when you order a coffee or tea. Or bring your own. The same is valid for take-away food, it is so easy to bring your own bowl.
- Buy as much as possible products in glass packaging or buy products in refillable bottles that can be used over and over.
- Starting with the points above the result will automatically be a reduction of the plastics send to landfills.
No need to say that the same is valid as in the first alinea: wow, if only I would do that, how would it look like if we all do it, from this area, from this town, from this province, from this country?
Nobody is perfect, me included. But let’s give it our best, finally we want future mankind to live on a healthy planet as well, right? I hear some people saying that in our country we are better in recycling, I see that as an invalid excuse and the easy way out. If we think like that we will be offered an easy way out by Mother Earth!
To minimize single-use plastic waste, personal hygiene products are a great place to start (because we use them everyday). Have a look at our refill solutions here, and yes we also do that for online orders. To make a hard thing easy to handle!