This article is about plastic, but remember when everyone was obsessing about the ozone layer? Well, It worked.
Scientists have for the first time produced proof that the recovery of the ozone hole is due to chemical bans. It’s a truly exciting piece of news that reconfirms a frightening side of human civilization – the power to dramatically affect the environment. Modern chemistry and physics have made it so that through commonplace items we are all contributing towards the disruption of our planet’s ecosystem at unprecedented rates.
It’s time we turned our obsessions towards getting rid of plastic.
And we are starting to, slowly. This article is being written in the wake of an upsurge of anti-plastic initiatives – countless articles, studies, companies, social initiatives, new laws and regulations being issued, all exist today with the purpose of understanding the gravity of the problem and how to deal with it. National Geographic featured a series of great pieces on this issue under the name Planet OR Plastic? - a read I highly recommend.
Here's an excerpt of their main article:
“This isn’t a problem where we don’t know what the solution is,” says Ted Siegler, a Vermont resource economist who has spent more than 25 years working with developing nations on garbage. “We know how to pick up garbage. Anyone can do it. We know how to dispose of it. We know how to recycle.” It’s a matter of building the necessary institutions and systems, he says—ideally before the ocean turns, irretrievably and for centuries to come, into a thin soup of plastic.
It’s easy to become fatalistic about the situation when you are confronted with images that depict fishes swimming in plastic filled oceans, rivers literally covered in thick layers of plastic trash, macabre statistics and numbers, fatalistic predictions, and while I generally disagree with politics of fear, these images and studies essentially speak for themselves. We must not get complacent about this issue. Direct positive action is needed.
How can we work towards solving this issue? What can we do? Here’s a short list of habits you can adopt today, courtesy of National Geographic:
- A trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. Always bring a reusable bag when you shop!
- Nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute. Go refillable! Carry your own reusable bottle.
- Millions of plastic straws are tossed every day. Skip the straw, or get a reusable wooden or metal straw.
- 9 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year. End littering. Properly dispose of your own trash and pick up litter when you can.
- Be more mindful about your plastic usage, especially single-use plastics.
Here at think.dk we are firm believers in the importance of these issues. We do want to save the world, after all. That’s why we’re going to be a part of this year’s Grøn KBH sustainability fair & market. It’s a great opportunity for us to meet past and future projects, working groups and initiatives, and to take part in something bigger. We’re looking forward to seeing how local and global groups are taking steps towards purging plastic from our daily lives, as well as all the other exciting sustainable initiatives.
It is true that the worst perpetrators in this plastic tragedy are Asian countries, but that doesn’t mean that we should become complacent. With that in mind, a small group of people in the U.K. staged a “plastic attack” in one of their local supermarkets as a form of protesting. Their local act caught onto the mainstream media and the story was picked up by hundreds of news agencies around the world. It was a great semi-anarchic cry against one of the worst agents in the world of single-use plastics. Supermarkets should indeed be held accountable and start taking responsibility for deciding to sell these highly polluting products. We believe that supermarket chains here in Copenhagen also need a friendly push in that direction.
Would you like to push with us?
Written by David Cameira Gomes.