10 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Footprint Without Compromising Your Lifestyle
Your Personal Plastic Reduction Plan
The human race is losing the battle against plastic.
Our own technical ingenuity has become toxic to our planet and all its inhabitants, including ourselves. We have found plastic in every corner of every environment on earth. Microplastics are raining down from the sky as they get caught in the water cycle. Plastic has entered the food chain when accidentally consumed by the animals we eat. Enormous patches of floating plastic, the size of countries, have been formed by our ocean currents. Pre-pandemic, we were already fighting an uphill battle, but now, with the addition of billions of pieces of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), we are facing a global crisis.
For all the benefits that make plastic so prevalent in consumer products — it is lightweight, malleable, and cheap to produce — it has a critical flaw when it comes to its impact on the environment: it is practically indestructible. Even worse; half of the 300 million tons of plastic produced every year is designed to be single-use.
Recycling isn’t the answer. Despite what we’ve been conditioned to believe, only 9% of plastics that are used end up being properly recycled. Our global recycling infrastructure isn’t equipped to handle the diversity and sheer volume of plastic being produced. There is massive public confusion about how to properly recycle. Well-intentioned citizens are likely to make mistakes which cause contamination of recycling batches and thwart their good intentions. Contamination levels of non-recyclables have reached such high levels that for many communities, it is no longer economically sustainable to continue recycling programs. It is cheaper to simply “throw it away” and so collection programs are defunded and recyclable materials are sent to the landfill.
In the meantime, Big Oil is doubling down on plastics. With global fuel demand dramatically slowing, plastics represent their target growth market. As a result, plastic production is increasing — on its way to triple by 2050.
Our global addiction to plastic is steadily killing us, and is as much a threat to our way of life as climate change. Broad changes are urgently needed by societies…