Well, July came, bringing good news and bad news.
The good news is that: more public joins the campaign: #JulyWithoutPlastic. Action that was born in Australia in 2011, and every year motivates consumers around the world to spend 31 days without using or consuming single-use plastics, with the aim of reducing their consumption.
On their website: www.plasticfreejuly.org . There is a quiz. Have you taken it? Try it. You will discover what effective actions you are doing NOW for the planet.
And, the bad ones, that even with campaigns and all, things are still happening, like, for example: you decide to visit a natural place that you knew as a pristine place: crystal clear water, endemic trees. A marvel. And with astonishment, along with the moss on the trees, there are covers! Another day, as you are aware, you walk a lot and you find a horrendous amount of masks everywhere, in addition to the aforementioned plastic waste. And the bread thing. Yes, it’s true that it lasts fresher in plastic. But why do you have to ask for an additional plastic sleeve? They say “to carry the plastic sleeve”. The case where the little breakfast breads are wrapped, sometimes, each one in plastic. A whole “matryoshka” of covers. To arrive home after a few minutes and throw all the packaging in the trash.
Yes, without an ounce of conscience, but since when did this idea of using and throwing away become normal?
A bit of history and facts.
Paradoxically, like all inventions, polyethylene was discovered accidentally. Then a Swedish engineer discovered that plastic bags were more resistant than paper bags, so they could be used over and over again, and patented them in 1959. The intention was to replace paper bags to avoid cutting down trees, and also because they were cheaper, and by the end of the 1980s almost everyone was using them.
The sky is paved with good intentions, they say. This invention turned out to be so advantageous and cheap, that it ended up generating a serious pollution problem.
Some data in Ecuador:
According to a publication of the MAE indicates that : “In Ecuador each person consumes approximately 130 T-shirt type covers in a year, or 1,500 million covers …[annually]…. “and: “According to data from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), in each square kilometer of ocean there are approximately 46,000 plastic bags”.
It also warns about the places where it is most consumed in Ecuador: in markets and free fairs 30% and in neighborhood stores, warehouses and distributors 48%. Clearly, it is up to the consumer to lower these percentages.
As a last reference, we leave you here the National Geographic article about the discovery of Charles Moore in 1977. Not an admirable discovery, but rather another evidence of the thoughtlessness of mankind.
What do we do now?
Despite being the protagonist of so many horrors, plastic is a very efficient solution in several areas of life. The key is to find sustainable solutions.
And they come simple and clear from whom we least expected:
The solution comes from Eng. Thulin Si himself, the inventor of bags. He always carried a plastic bag in his pocket.
Another piece of advice, obvious and simple, comes from environmental journalist Laura Foster: “…use the bags you already have, again and again and again and again”. “And when they break, mend or recycle them.”
The key is to change habits. In other words, the solution is you.