We all know when things seem like a good idea, they are often not, kinda like that time you decided to home bleach your hair and left the bleach on too long. When we stop to look in the rearview mirror of time, it's easy to marvel at how easily a good idea can go very wrong. One of those good ideas gone bad is the ongoing obsession with single-use plastics.
Since the mass production of plastic began in the 1950s, our dependency on it has grown to staggering proportions. But the fact is that most plastics are made from finite fossil fuels extracted from the earth, and plastics do not break down. Instead, they 'break up' into smaller and smaller pieces, creating microplastics and nanoplastics. The creation and degradation of plastics release harmful greenhouse gases, contributing to our planet's changing climate.
Plastic shopping bags. Nearly two million plastic bags are used every minute of every day, so what can you do?
Takeaway coffee cups. About 500 billion coffee cups are produced each year, and we bet you didn't know that most of these are lined with a thin plastic film, making them difficult to recycle. The plastic lids are made up of single-use plastics and are rarely recycled. Here's what to do.
Plastic cling wrap. You know that magic stretchy stuff you use to cover absolutely everything in the fridge to keep it fresh? We have sad news. Even when plastic cling wrap is recycled, it's costlier than using virgin materials. According to the World Health Organization, when it ends up in landfills or incinerators, both PVC and PVDC can release a highly toxic chemical called dioxin. Not ideal! So what to do instead?
Plastic bottles. The recycling of plastic bottles results in a downgrading of the plastic, which means it can't be easily recycled again. And here we were, feeling proud of our recycling efforts every time we threw one in the yellow bin. So what's the answer?
Plastic straws. This should be the easiest one. Besides, does anyone even use them anymore? The answer is yes; Australians use 3.5 billion straws every year. That's a scary amount of takeaway soft drinks and juices. What to do?
Single use condiment sachets. Addicted to takeaway sushi handrolls - literally addicted! You know those little sachets they give you, full of wasabi, ginger, soy. Sushi isn't the same without all the goods, but what else can you do if giving up takeaway isn't an option?
ALULU supports the fantastic efforts of organisation, Take 3 for the Sea. Visit their website to learn more facts about the impact of single use plastics on the environment, and find out how else you can make a positive contribution in your area. 🌏
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