Updated: Feb 15
While plastic has proven to be a very useful material it has also become a huge problem due to its extremely long lifespan and the dangers it often poses to the natural environment once discarded. Plastic has become one of the many great problems that arrived with the industrial revolution.
Now that we have the tools and knowledge to reverse these negative impacts the challenge is to implement the solutions and to help one another to become more aware of seriousness and extent of these problems in order to solve them.
Together we can and must reverse the negative impacts created by the industrial revolution.
A large part of the problem is that we have taken a material that was built to last and applied it to a wide variety of single-use applications. Plastic is typically made from ancient fossil fuels which are dug up from deep underground, it doesn't make much sense that we turn it into such short lived products or bi-products that just get spread around the surface of the planet where they will spend many hundreds or even thousands of years wreaking havoc on the natural environment that supports us.
Food packaging is among the worst culprits of single-use packaging. Plastic is just about everywhere these days, it has become so seemingly impossible to avoid it that so many people don't even bother trying to reduce their contribution to this global crisis.
How can I do my part?
Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Repurpose, Recycle
Many alternative solutions to conventional plastics already exist, we can bring these to solutions to the attention of the companies who are held responsible for distributing the unsustainable materials. A very effective way of confronting them is to write them a 'Climate Idea' on We Don't Have Time. Need some help finding a particular solution? We're here to help!
Growing your own food is a great way to eliminate single-use food packaging while also reducing pressure on our current world broken food system. Alternatively you can shop for organic food at local markets and bring your own produce bags.
Plastic bottles! Get a metal bottle, make it a habit. If you want a drink of juice, buy the fruit and juice it yourself. Milk? Making your own vegan milk is easier than you think! All you need is water and one of these ingredients Almonds, Cashews, Oats, Soy Beans, Hemp Seeds, Quinoa.
Another thing you can do to help is to pick up rubbish where ever you see it, you can even be rewarded by doing so! Simply snap a picture of your effort and enter a 'Proof of Environment' with EverGreenCoin and they will pay you out of the monthly reward pool for your efforts. Share it to your social media and make your friends and family more aware of the problem and show them that you are willing to make an effort.
Have a look at our plastic-free store to get some ideas on products you can buy to reduce your reliance of plastics.
Microplastics are more of a problem than you might think, they are now found in just about every corner of the planet and the depths of the oceans. They have already entered the food chain and made their way into our bodies, and microplastics have now even been found in the human placenta! One study suggests that the average person consumes at least 50,000 plastic particles a year, through our diet and even simply by breathing in the synthetic fibres from our clothes, carpets, bedding, etc.
The microplastics in our clothes and other materials shed into the environment and into our waterways when we wash them, often ending up in the ocean. Microplastics also come from the very slow process of of larger pieces breaking down in the elements, whether they be floating in the ocean or littering the landscape/cityscape.
The Ocean CleanUp Project is working to clean up our ocean plastic and the rivers that feed it, this is a great start! But they can not solve this global crisis on their own, they need our help!
There are also number of organisations and events aimed at cleaning up land polluting plastics such as Clean Up Australia Day and Clean Up Earth Day... while these are great initiatives, we should really clean up our planet every day if we are to solve this global plastic pollution crisis... "Because we don't wanna end up living on a desert planet swimming in plastic." - Formidable Vegetable Sound Systems - Plastic
Above all, we should apply the solutions to the source of the problem. This is what Reverse IndusTree and a number of other zero-waste/plastic-free stores out there aim to address, but of course this doesn't happen without creating impactful awareness. We as individuals have the power to not only influence the companies who are pushing out all of this plastic, but we can also show those around us that there is a better way by becoming an inspirational living example! The more we support the existing solutions the sooner the companies will realise that this is what consumers want.
Become a change maker today and together we can make the world a better place for ourselves and all future generations who will inherit what we leave behind. The world is in our hands.
Breaking the Cycle
Many of us are so busy in our everyday day lives that we have become disconnected and unaware to the extent and magnitude of the Plastic Pollution Crisis and the Climate Crisis alike. In our busy, stressful lifestyles we don't often have a lot of free time on our hands and so we go for the conveniently 'plastic packaged' often highly processed foods to 'refuel' our bodies.
In these busy, stressful, lives we might feel unhappy or incomplete and so we naturally turn to material consumerism to 'make us feel better' as this is what todays 'conventional' society encourages us to do. Unfortunately this is only a temporary fix so then we find ourselves again chasing the latest and greatest material assets to fulfil our so called 'desires' as the sneaky advertisements tell us we 'need' then we tend to lose interest in our previously attained assets... eventually they end up in landfills.
What if I told you that breaking this unhealthy, unnatural cycle would not only be so much better for your mental and physical health but it could also allow you to become an active part of the solution to these global life threatening issues which will make you feel even better! You wouldn't have to feel guilty every time you see an image of a sea turtle choking on plastic and you would no longer need to cringe or shut off from hearing the words 'climate change'.
Instead you could think of the positive impact that you are having now that you are a part of the solution, because I am sure nobody really enjoys being a part of the problem.
So let's transition to the circular economy and create a future for our children that we can be proud of!
We all have a part to play. No matter how powerless we might feel as individuals in the face of these global crises just know that you CAN make a HUGE difference no matter how small you might feel.
You can start by taking it one small step at a time. Sustainable Stepping Stones...
Let's change our ways for better days!
Together we can drive collective action and together we have the ability to solve the problems we and previous generations have created in this world but we MUST all take action NOW before it is too late.
Joel Courtidis - Founder of Reverse IndusTree