Say no to plastic!
Our planet is suffocating in plastic: 19 to 23 million tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans, lakes and rivers every year - the equivalent of almost two truckloads every minute. A flood of microplastic has already reached the Arctic and even the deep seas at depths of up to 10, 000 metres. Is there any way to rectify the issue?
Every single piece of plastic ever produced still exists today
Since the beginning of mass production during the 1950s, production has increased massively on an annual basis. While there were 1.5 million tons of plastic waste in 1950, this number has increased to approximately 300 million tons. Sad but true, this number continues to rise immeasurably: the AWI (Alfred Wegener Institute) estimates that the flood of plastic waste will increase even more in the coming years: by 2045, global plastic production is expected to double once again.
Only less than 5% of plastic waste is being recycled
The issue here is not the material itself. Plastic is actually a versatile material that can be disposed of and recycled easily. However, the requirement thereof is that the discarded products are disposed of in the correct waste bins and recycling system. Unfortunately, only less than 5% of the plastic produced worldwide is actually recycled.
By 2050, 12 billion tons of plastic waste will end up in landfills
Since the beginning of plastic production, it is estimated that about 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced of which 76% has been discarded as plastic waste and nearly 80% of the accumulated waste has ended up in landfills or in nature (forests, rivers, beaches and the ocean). A plastic bottle takes about 500 years to decompose. This becomes both an issue of environmental impact and space, as landfills already take up a lot of space in some countries.
10 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year
How all this plastic waste actually ends up in the sea, you can find out here. In the meantime, an insane mass of (plastic) waste has already accumulated, circulating in 5 large garbage patches in our oceans.
Among them is the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is considered the largest marine waste dump in the world. It is estimated to be about three times the size of France and four and a half times the size of Germany!
Small and large clean-up projects like The Ocean Cleanup are a glimmer of hope for the future of our oceans. But it would be more important to reduce the immense production of - unfortunately very often unnecessary - plastic products, and to recycle a higher proportion of plastic materials used. Plastic still remains a valuable resource even after initial use.
What helps against the flood of plastic?
- Say no to plastic
Whenever possible, reach for alternatives made from more sustainable materials - as long as they can be recycled.
- Get creative
Reuse single-use plastic, e.g. empty packaging as garbage bags, if possible. In doing so, you've already saved on using an extra garbage bag.
To give valuable resources like plastic, paper, etc. a second chance, they need to be disposed of correctly after initial use, i.e. discard these items in the correct waste bins.
Currently, many reusable solutions are popping up in a wide variety of areas. From reusable menstrual cups to practical wax-based cloths for food and snacks, and wooden or metal razors - always keep an eye out for more sustainable options.
Smart refill systems for cosmetics and cleaning agents are becoming more widespread which saves on plastic packaging in the long run. Oftentimes, the refills are more affordable too.
- Be part of the solution
Support clean-up and upcycling projects
We hope to make a small contribution with our refillable pump dispensers for liquid soaps, shampoos, etc. by utilising 100% ocean-based plastic as our manufacturing material. The practical refill sizes replace up to 15 plastic bottles a year!
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