The Plastic Crisis
It's time to rethink our relationship with plastic.
Globally, we generate 300 million tons of plastic waste each year – nearly the weight of the entire human population. Much of that waste ends up in the oceans.
In the Pacific Ocean, there is a massive area of swimming garbage about 1.6 million square kilometers in size called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. For comparison, the entire Philippine land area is only 300,000 square kilometers.
Meanwhile, plastic production increased to 448 million tons in 2015 and may double by 2050.
As consumers, we can help curb the plastic crisis.
With mindful everyday decisions, we can limit our personal plastic footprint, and collectively make a difference in the waste around us.
So what if plastic waste is piling?
Plastic debris kills more than a million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine mammals each year. Many are endangered species, which means they could become extinct if we don’t take action.
By 2050, it is said that the weight of plastic is likely to outweigh that of fish. That is because yearly, around 8m tonnes of plastics end up in the ocean, the equivalent of dumping the contents of one garbage truck every minute into the ocean.
Instead of biodegrading into natural components, plastic breaks apart over hundreds of years into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics and nanoplastics. Humans can ingest plastic through eating seafood, drinking water, and even through the air we breathe.
This is on top of the air pollution caused by the production and recycling of plastic.
Plastics contain persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic substances, collectively called PBTs. These may enter the bodies of organisms then travel along the food web. They accumulate until they're concentrated enough to potentially disrupt hormones or become carcinogenic.
Top Contributors to The Plastic Problem
The plastics we throw away go on a ‘journey,’ ushered by rainwater into canals and rivers, traveling many miles to the sea. In the region of Asia and the Pacific, China, Indonesia and the Philippines have the highest mismanagement of plastic waste.
The United Nations Environment Programme states that half of all the single-use plastics produced in the world are designed to be used just once and then discarded. In particular:
5 trillion single-use plastic bags are bought/used worldwide each year.
1 million plastic bottles are bought worldwide every minute. That translates to my 1.4 billion bottles in just one day.
Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels
Can individual action help solve The Plastic Crisis?
Tackling the plastic crisis means lowering our reliance on plastic and managing the waste that already exists. In addition, we need sound policies from governments and genuine accountability from companies in reducing their plastic waste.
We individuals have power, too. Our day-to-day choices shape the amount of waste that is thrown away.
We can try adjusting our buying decisions toward sustainable packaging.
At Made Mindful, we truly believe that companies should be responsible about their product packaging.
To minimize our single-use plastic waste, we package our products in glass, paper, or aluminum whenever we can. To avoid using bubble wrap, we designed our transit boxes to hold the glass bottles securely in place with durable recycled cardboard.
We want to make it easier for you to avoid plastic, so it is easier to be part of the solution.
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