Our Reality is Plastic
Plastic comes from the Greek word plastikos, which means “capable of being shaped and moulded.” It is a synthetic organic compound that’s relatively inexpensive. Recently, single-use plastics has seen a rise in consumption across the entire planet. The United Nations (UN) defines single-use plastics as “plastic that is designed to be used only once for convenience.” Some common uses of these plastics are straws, containers, bottles, packaging, grocery bags, and cutlery.
Only 9% of the 9 billion tonnes of plastic the world has produced ever gets recycled. Most synthetic wastes end up sitting in landfills or getting washed into oceans, thus polluting the waters and choking marine life to death.
One of the solutions proposed is a blanket ban on single-use plastics. A blanket ban is a total and complete ban, sometimes also with the connotation that it includes false positives.
But seeing plastic remains an affordable and durable material, a blanket ban may be a costly solution. Instead of a total ban, proper collection and segregation of waste for recycling would be a more viable solution.
Until the growing efforts in searching or reinventing biodegradable material can replace plastic, consumers need to learn to choose certified products made of recycled, recyclable, or renewable materials.
As a simple consumer, recycling habits should start at home and at the workplace. By phasing out single-use food containers and cutlery, and picking up a recycle bag for your groceries, you will enable a sustainable future.
Well-known Chinese philosopher Laozi said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Let’s all work together to preserve this place we call home.