This amazing picture that was featured on the cover of National Geographic is as poignant as it is effective. Not only did it speak volumes, but the fact that the actual magazine was plastic wrapped is indicative of the conundrum we find ourselves in - we want to make a change, but do we?
Dedicate this year to breaking free from Plastic
Plastic has become so much a part of our lives that it almost seems impossible to break free completely. Sometimes it feels like plastic has been forced upon us by the consumer industry and that living plastic free is next to impossible. We at Sustainable.co.za feel that everybody
should be able to at least make a start in reducing their reliance on plastic products.
Shopping no longer needs to be a plastic affair
15 years ago, thin plastic shopping bags came standard with grocery shopping at leading supermarkets. In 2003, a new law came into effect, namely that plastic bags be made thicker so that they could be easily recycled or reused. The problem with this was that this did not do much to deter consumers from treating them much the same as their thinner counterparts. Leaving rubbish dumps full of thick plastic bags.
It is time to start making a concerted effort to using reusable bags. Not only does this save you approximately 50c a packet but perhaps leading retailers will stop offering plastic shopping packets as an option if the cost of stocking them outweighs what people (and the earth) will pay for them. We have a few great solutions to your grocery shopping requirements. The Hemp Circle Shopper is a truly environmentally friendly shopper bag made from sustainable, unbleached hemp fabric and can fit quite a lot of groceries in it. We also have the fantastic reusable Freshbag for your fruit and vegetable shopping. You will never have to resort to the small thin plastic packets used for fruit/ vegetable storage.
Plastic Straws Suck!
One of the biggest campaigns at the moment is the anti-straw campaign. Straws pose a huge threat to the environment and the animal life around us. These single-use plastic death traps are not necessary but are freely available at a number of retail outlets. We challenge you to give up on straws completely by using a glass for your drinks or if you love having the luxury of a straw, either invest in paper straws or reusable steel straws. Again, this comes down to supply and demand and the consumer sets the tone.
Take home more for less
Takeaway packaging is another culprit of single-use application with terrible results. In this day and age, fast food is a luxury that most people can afford. The health implications is a discussion for another blog as this blog is focused on the dire consequences of Styrofoam packaging and plastic packaging. Polystyrene is one of the most common forms of plastic used today. Although it can be recycled, the costs are high and due to the chemicals contained in it. It cannot be used for food packaging due to the health risks.
We have noticed a significant upsurge in restaurants turning to compostable takeaway packaging. A wide range of this alternative packaging is now available and food distributors no longer have an excuse. Would you be willing to pay a small fee towards biodegradable takeaway packaging? We know we would.
Remember that biodegradeable goods need to be composted and not thrown into a rubbish dump. We have a wide range of recycling bins and composters available so that very
little waste has to go to the dump.
At the end of the day, plastic reduction is about playing our part as a member of the larger eco-system of our planet, ensuring that we are not the reason for its deterioration. We are Earth-Keepers and have been sitting idle for too long in our role as perpetrators in the degradation of the earth and its animals. It is time to make a concerted effort to make a change, before it is no longer an option.