We can only stop producing plastic when we finally stop using it. The world has grown so dependent on plastics, that we are now facing a global problem when it comes to proper waste disposal. Getting rid of plastic seems impossible, but there could still be a way to do it.
If we ask the question how can we reduce the use of plastic in our daily life, then we will get a long way.
Plastic usage is a world problem.
We use it everywhere–grocery bags, trash bags, plates, cups, party supplies, the list is endless. Plastic manufacturers found so many uses of the material that it has become such a staple in anyone’s household. It is cheap and durable, but the convenience it gives us has taken its toll on Mother Earth. More and more people are realizing how grave the situation might be if we never stop using plastic, which is also why more and more ways are being discovered to somehow lessen the havoc it is wreaking on earth.
Why don’t we stop producing plastic?
The reason why plastic continues to be produced in a time when more and more organizations cry foul to using it is simple – a huge chunk of the modern lifestyle depends on it. Restaurants, malls, delis, factories, supermarkets; all use plastic. Even the water we drink is packed in single-use plastic bottles.
Today’s fast-paced world depends so much on plastic because they’re easily available. They also cost less and can be sourced cheaper than paper bags, for example. It has become such a way of life that we find it hard to shake it off. We think of recycling as an added chore that we’re better off without, not thinking about how it could impact our lives on a larger scale.
For example, why do we choose to buy bottled water instead of just taking a reusable tumbler with us? It’s convenient. We see the tumbler as an added baggage, when we can just buy bottled water everywhere. You think of it as “just one bottle”. Imagine millions of people around the world thinking the same thing, and you already have millions of bottles that wouldn’t fit in the landfills anymore. Where do they end up? In our oceans, polluting the marine ecosystem.
But what if, for some reason, you cannot really stop drinking bottled water?
What is the proper way to recycle plastic bottles?
As much as we want to save the earth, we also try to consider people’s reasons why they have their own way of doing things. In the case of water bottles and not using reusable cups, the least we can do is make sure we are doing our best in recycling. In this way, we do not contribute to the huge waste problem. Consider it a baby step to a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
To properly recycle water bottles, it is important to put the cap back on when you finish its contents. Crushing your bottle and making sure no air is trapped inside the bottle is also imperative, so your bottle wouldn’t take too much space in the trash bin.
Since we’re trying to minimize garbage problems, throwing your water bottle wrapped in a plastic bag is a big no-no. It is also best to get rid of the plastic film packaging around the bottle, so that it is recycled easier.
What percent of plastic is recycled?
A measly 8.4% of plastic gets recycled.
We’re talking about 3.0 million tons of plastic garbage, with only that tiny percentage getting recycled. Those humongous numbers are from 2017 data. It’s 2020, naturally, the number of plastic trash humans consume increases by the day. If we don’t commit to recycling plastic products, we’re in for a more alarming environmental challenge in the near future.
Water bottles are among the most used plastic products around the world. There are just too many of them that get consumed every day, that they are not only found in landfills, but also in coastal areas and even underwater.
Recycling your water bottle and even just disposing of them properly may look like a small task for one person, but if everyone who drinks their water from plastic bottles could just do the same, we can dramatically decrease the gravity of plastic pollution.
We’re far from stopping plastic production.
But that does not mean we should not take steps in order to help improve the situation. Plastic pollution is just as horrible as air and water pollution. In fact, it even worsens water pollution in many aspects and creates a bigger problem.
The only time we can stop producing plastic is when people stop using it. It is only possible when everyone commits to living with minimal to zero waste. Thankfully, an increasing number of countries are finding ways to encourage people to rethink their lifestyles. Switching to cloth diapers, reusable straws, shampoo bars, etc. They might be considered baby steps, but stepping small is surely better than staying still.