Single-use plastics

Good morning and a belated happy new year!! Has anyone made some good new years resolutions? May I do a suggestion 🙂

Stop using single-use plastics. They are:

  • The plastics that are used only once before they end up as waste.
  • The plastics that are found most often in beach and coral reef cleanups

Two strong examples of single-use plastics are straws and cotton buds. They are designed with an intention to be used only that one time. Your bartender won’t be replacing your straw to the next drink or reuse it for the next person. I hope not! And after you’ve used your cotton bud to clean your ears, well… you understand. Non-reusable.

But imagine hosting a party for your birthday. After everyone has gone home, you are not the one tossing all those straws on the street outside, or worse, in the nearby river/sea. And you are not the one flushing your cotton buds through the toilet (right?). So in theory, you are not the one contributing to that plastic soup.
Wrong. Honestly, you are doing a great job by separating your waste for recycling. But there are more processes and more animals on this planet. You are only a part of the process (the input). Wind can pick up straws very easily if it lays on top of a dump, and birds love those colourfull buds for their nests (and they don’t separate their waste after leaving the nest).

Infographic on ocean plastics. Source: NOAA

Fact is that these two examples, of which the straw is always in the top 10 of finds during a beach cleanup, contribute largely to the plastic soup and the problem of animals dying with a belly full of plastics. You did not put them there, but you also did not really need them. If there are no straws in the world, ………………………… (fill in)If there are no cotton buds in the world, that would be a bit more annoying. Biodegradable buds are a good alternative. They are made of rolled paper/wood sticks and you wouldn’t notice the difference.

If you are inspired please consider this top 10 below of trash found in the world oceans, and think about other common single-use plastics: plastic store bags, coffee stirrers, unnecessary food wrappings, soda bottles, coffee/tea containers and plastic cutlery.

Source: The Ocean Conservancy 2012

Some universities in the world are already (lobbying to go) straw-free. Some cities in the world are trying to reduce their plastics use. And some entire counties are becoming single-use plastics free! With companies and countries as an example, I think we can do some good in 2018. Thank you for reading ❤

Stop sucking! on campus

Water fountains in London to reduce single-use water bottles

Costa Rica wants to ban single-use plastics by 2021 

 

2 thoughts on “Single-use plastics

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