Our addiction to plastics and why we need to abandon it now

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Earlier this year we saw our supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths abandon the use of single-use plastic bags at checkouts. We all embraced it pretty well. But in the grand scheme of things, is it really enough or does more need to be done?

I was talking to a data analyst last week who enlightened me with the facts of the decomposition time of our household garbage.

I was shocked at how long it took for plastics to break down. The harm this will do to the environment is catastrophic and the future for other generations quite bleak if we don’t act now and do a hell of a lot more than just recycle our plastic bottles each week.

My opinion is that the corporate world needs to take the lead on this front and cause the change we need. There is only so much lobbying to Government that we can do and only so many people that are willing to listen before switching off. (It’s known as the power of willful ignorance)

As consumers walking into the supermarket aisle of soft drinks, the reality is that most drinks are all in plastic PET bottles, we buy them because it’s convenient and little other choices to how our drinks and foods are packaged.

What if one day we walked into the supermarket and all those plastic bottles were just simply gone, and all drinks were packaged in environmentally friendly materials? 99% of us would accept it and move on.

We need to push the corporate world to mandate a 2021 no plastics commitment. Consumers need to start talking to their favourite brands and help get these brands onboard.

I am truly appreciative for what Coles and Woolworths did by abandoning the use of single-use plastic bags at checkouts, but that is not enough. Especially when you want to follow up that campaign with plastic toys, and plastic storage containers.

What’s more embarrassing is that Coca-Cola, Australia’s biggest beverage company is so far behind. Coca-Cola is only now committing to 70% recycled plastic bottles by the end of 2019. Most other companies have been using recycled plastics for the last 10 years and quite frankly the world is ready to move forward to non-plastic packaging.

“As Australia’s biggest beverage company, we have a responsibility to help solve the plastic waste crisis,” says Vamsi Mohan Thati, president of Coca-Cola Australia.

The truth is simple, you are not helping solve the plastic waste crisis by using and reusing plastics, you just need to stop manufacturing more plastic. and commit to non-plastic packaging. (See our other article on Plastic Packaging Alternatives)

Supermarkets equally have the power to go back to the manufacturers and say we are not going to accept products in plastic anymore, here is the date to solve the issue.

Thank you to Norbert Elekes for the inspiration.

Decomposition of plastic

countries polluting the most

ITS NOT BLACK AND WHITE

GLOBAL PLASTIC PRODUCTION TO DATE




There are many good reports on this topic
National Geographic: https://t.co/Ns20UGFOuw
@OceanChampions: https://t.co/E6YmBinlw8

Turtle playing with Plastic

Decomposition time of our garbage

Paper towel : 3 weeks
Paper bag : 4 weeks
Newspaper : 6 weeks
Plastic bag : 20 years
Styrofoam cup : 50 years
Plastic straw : 200 years
Plastic bottle : 450 years
Coffee pod : 500 years

Countries polluting our oceans the most

12. USA
11. Brazil
10. Bangladesh
9. Nigeria
8. Malaysia
7. Thailand
6. Egypt
5. Sri Lanka
4. Vietnam
3. Philippines
2. Indonesia
1. China

It’s not black and white

Western countries export their plastic waste

If current trends continue

By 2050, the world’s oceans will contain:
  • 895 million tons of fish
  • 937 million tons of plastic

Global plastic production to date

1950:     2 million tons
Today: > 9 billion tons*
2050:   37 billion tons
*79% is sitting in landfills/the environment




Author’s Bio
Chet Carter is an IT Professional of 22 years, but has worked with a range of businesses giving him in-depth understanding of many different industries. Chet Carter is a business owner but shares his knowledge and experience through posts like these.

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