There was a time when the world wasn’t this dependent on single-use plastic. But over time, the convenience that it provided was too great to ignore, so even if the choice came at the expense of the environment, businesses across the world simultaneously turned a blind eye to the negative impacts of their decisions.
Fast forward to the present day, where the oceans are polluted with so much plastic that it’s killing the turtles, while the sky-high landfills are made up of bottles, wrappers, and other plastic wastes that will take hundreds of years to degrade. That is if they ever will.
Commercial manufacturers tend to lean towards single-use plastic because it’s cheaper to produce and more durable than paper products. The chemical structure of single-use plastic makes it tougher than the average biodegradable packaging, which means it’s that much harder to decompose over time.
Fortunately, many supporters of the sustainability movement are creating ripples in society to raise the public’s awareness about the rapidly growing plastic pollution crisis. With their initiative, countless alternatives have been birthed, such as these three eco-friendly solutions below:
In fast-food chains, picnics, or when traveling, it’s so much easier to bring along disposable utensils because they can just be thrown away afterward. That’s because if people were to bring metal utensils wherever they went, they would have to go out of their way to wash the utensils after eating.
The same can be applied to almost every situation where using plastic is far more convenient than the other alternatives. But at this point, it would be a shame to deliberately choose to use plastic if there were more eco-friendly options, such as reusable and organic bamboo cutlery.
Making the conscious decision to reject convenience for somehow lessening the negative impacts of human activity on the environment is a good first step towards sustainability. It might not make much of an impact because it’s done at a low scale, but at least you’re not adding more harm by becoming self-aware.
The invention of single-use plastic straws has made drinking cold beverages much easier and convenient for people, but it came at the cost of harming the environment. This is especially true because plastic wastes are not being disposed of through the appropriate measures.
If you’re aware of how much you rely on plastic straws in your day-to-day routines, you can do your part for the environment by getting yourself a metal straw instead. Metal straws are the perfect alternatives to single-use plastics because they can be washed and reused repeatedly.
You will have to go the extra mile to wash the straw after you use it instead of discarding it mindlessly, but that’s a small price to pay if it means you can lessen the amount of plastic that enters the oceans. Sea animals don’t deserve to be harmed or choked on plastic because people don’t know how to dispose of their wastes.
Reusable Water Jugs
Drinking water is not something you can eliminate from your daily routines because you need water to survive. The human body is made up of 60% water, which means you need to consume enough water to keep your organs functioning optimally. But no rule says you have to drink water from a disposable plastic bottle.
Besides the fact that plastic bottles are created with chemicals that can leave harmful plastic particles in the water you drink, the bottles also take a long time to degrade. Fortunately, there are sustainable initiatives like eco-bricking that turns plastic bottles into recyclable bricks used in furniture-making or building structures.
But if you had the option to choose between disposable and reusable water bottles, hopefully, you make the right decision to pick what’s not harmful to the environment. Reusable water jugs are the perfect alternatives to plastic bottles because they are durable and can be washed repeatedly.
It would be impossible to reverse the devastating impacts that humans and their obsession with convenience have done on the environment. But this doesn’t mean that it’s too late to do anything about the plastic pollution crisis. If anything, it should encourage you to think twice about the actions and decisions you make moving forward.
There’s still hope for humanity to redeem themselves and create a better world for future generations. The road ahead may look bleak and unclear, but if people joined hands to choose sustainability over convenience, then maybe, just maybe, the environment can be returned to its former glory.