Reusable water bottle as a way of Reducing Plastic? Some staggering cold hard facts...
Updated: May 3
Reusable water bottle as a way of Reducing Plastic? What's the big deal? Some staggering cold hard facts...
OK - So you've heard about all the eco-mentalists banging on about reducing plastic bags, and how the amount of plastic waste in general is causing global environmental concerns. You'll have seen images in the press of plastic debris littering the oceans and empty plastic water bottles littering beaches. Well the truth is, in the UK, since the
introduction of charging for a single-use plastic bag, reduction has been dramatic.
However, globally, we still get through 5 trillion plastic bags each year. That's 160,000 plastic bags a SECOND. Think about that for a minute (And in that minute you’re thinking, we’ve gone through another 9.6 million plastic bags! And why? A reusable bag is so easy to come by now, and the amount of variation in design, size and style of reusable bag means there is no excuse.
Single use plastic is on the short-term decrease, that's certain, but nowhere near as fast as it needs to be. Our recent advertising campaign targetted the humble plastic straw, but as you can see from the imagery we used below, it's one of the biggest contributors to single use plastic
We also ran a campaign last year to make people think more about bottled water. The plastic bottle is a huge contributor to the problem. The likes of Evian don't make water, do they? That's right, they make plastic bottles!
The plastic pollution crisis has now reached a pandemic level. We talk about Covid-19 as being pandemic. If we looked at the disposable plastic crisis we have been creating for years now, then this is indeed at pandemic proportions. Takeout containers, plastic plates, forks, spoons. Trash bags, plastic cups, straws, stirrers Even plastic cotton buds! The amount of plastic waste we create, as a human race, is shocking. even recycled plastic isn't enough to stem the flood of plastic consumption and waste that seems to have become the norm.
So why do we need to reduce single use plastics to a more acceptable level? The levels of plastic waste we are currently deploying into our oceans mean that there could be no fish left in our seas by 2050. And if you think that's a long way off, well if you remember the Berlin wall coming down, that was further in the past than 2050 is in the future....That hopefully puts our disposable plastic use into some real kind of perspective.
On top of this, there is the staggering waste fact, which takes a colossal amount of brainpower to get your head round. And that is the fact that between January and April of this year (2020) 682,191,000 TONNES of waste into our oceans. Take a minute to think about nearly 700 million TONNES of plastic trash being dumped into our oceans in just four months, and it kind of makes you ashamed to be a part of the human race.
If we continue to wrap our food in plastic containers and our drinks in plastic bottles, it's not that we will have a bigger problem in the future.
The stark fact is that we are at risk of changing life as we know it. indefinitely. And to reiterate that point, think about the lifespan of our planet and the impact, we as a race have had on it. If you imagine the entire history of our planet as a calendar year, the humans have existed for just 37 minutes and we have used up over one third of the planet's natural resources in the last 0.2 seconds. We simply cannot continue to produce plastic on a mass scale, and create a plethora of plastic water bottles, plastic cutlery, plastic packaging and plastic containers, putting them all to waste, usually in our oceans, without contemplating the use of a reusable container, or a reusable bottle or disposable cups, maybe consider stopping drinking bottled water altogether.
We should consider far greater use of products which are made from bamboo or stainless steel (which can also be food grade), and our plastics industry should be heavily focused on helping in this fight. A much overused term in business these days is "pivot", but that is exactly what our plastics industry needs to do, and right now. Turn it's attention to different ways of manufacturing the products we need. Create new and inventive ways of recycling and creating utensils that can be used over and over. Look at the impact a reusable straw can have in the fight. One straw, but 8 million people on the planet! Recycling is one way of helping, but manufacturers involved in plastic production must step up to the challenge as well.