Do you stress over the fact you have no idea where your empty shampoo bottles, deodorant tubes, lip balm sticks, shaving cream cans, cosmetic containers and disposable razors end up after just one use? In short, all single use plastics it end up in our landfills, oceans and rivers. Single use plastic pollution is at a rapid pace and is at a crisis levels globally. In fact millions of tons of plastic is generated annually, with a life cycle of seconds and with a large percentage ending up in our water systems.
JUST HOW BIG IS YOUR PLASTIC (and carbon) FOOTPRINT?
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation reports "The New Plastic Economy: Rethinking the future of plastic" plastic is a global problem. Annual plastic production has grown 20x's from 15 million tons in 1964 to 311 million tons in 2014. Ninety five percent of plastics intrinsic value is lost after a "single use". Today, single use plastics (SUP's) can be divided into 8 categories: PET, HDPD, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS, EPS, and OTHERS. Consequently, due to the complexity and variety only 8% of plastic used for packaging is recycled. 32% of all plastic used for packaging leaks into the environment via land, rivers and oceans.
Annual plastic production will exceed 1.1 billion consuming 20% of all oil production by 2050. Additionally, plastics will represent over 15% of global carbon footprint by 2050. All in all, we as a society can no longer sustain harmony with our surroundings if we continue to support a "single use" disposable society.
EUROPE HAS A BIG PROBLEM
A European NGO conducted a study called “Seas at Risk” and it is estimated the following single use plastic items are generated annually by European Union member states: 46 billion single use plastic bottles, 16 billion coffee cups, 580 billion cigarette butts (complete with known carcinogens), 2.5 billion takeaway packaging, 36.4 billion plastic straws.
In total, there are almost 600 Billion pieces of SUP’s (single use plastic) generated in Europe annually. These 5 categories contribute to 50% of the waste that shows up on Europe’s beaches. In fact, the single use grocery bag is all ready banned in the EU yet the plastic keeps coming. Recycling does not work and will never work because it takes additional effort at all levels of the supply chain. Furthermore, who wants to work when it comes to garbage? The only solution to the problem is eliminating the use of plastic – JUST STOP USING single use plastics.
PLASTIC BAG BAN
Companies have to change the way they manufacture and distribute products. For example, retail packaging is no longer required because of eCommerce and Amazon. Packaging products for the retail customer is DEAD. Functional sustainable packing is the future. In fact, products just need to arrive at the consumers door step damage free. The scourge of decomposing SUP's on beaches, oceans and in ones food supply is a global problem.
PLASTIC POLLUTION IN THE USA
In 2012, the USA recycled only 9% of all plastic generated. For example, plastic water bottles can remain in the environment for more than 450 years. In most cases the plastic particles do not go away but just get smaller and smaller making them easier to enter our food chain. Evidence of this can seen in how plastic is affecting the sex hormones of both animals and humans. Elevated estrogen levels associated with the use of plastic is one of the most significant damages we face today in nature and our food chain.
How can we continue on our current path of self destruction because we want a disposable society? Are we going to want more and more plastic in our fish? Are we going to want more and more plastic in our drinking water? Additionally, do we want our youth to be exposed to more and more synthetic estrogen? As a result, plastic is finding its way into all areas of our life. In conclusion, plastic is like no other product man has created and used to further industrialization and its proliferation demands immediate action. We are heading into a GLOBAL environmental disaster that may not be reversible if we do not act NOW.
YOU need to Take ACTION TODAY
The “Marine Conservation Society” of Scotland has a guide called the “Living without single-use Plastic’ guide” to help consumers. Your changes may seem small, but can have considerable impact on you, your community and the environment. To a greater degree, you are sending a message to global companies you are no longer going support their products if they refuse to stop using SUP’s. Here are some tips everyone can start using TODAY to reduce our plastic footprint:
BECOME A LOCAL "NO PLASTIC" ACTIVIST
Start today by engaging your local community to eliminate single use plastics. Begin by educating the public about single use plastics and its impact on their health and the environment. A program like "Rise above Plastics" by the Surfrider Foundation is a great beginning point. Furthermore you can start a local plastic bag ban campaign or join with other organizations or city officials to ban plastic bags. ENCOURAGE restaurants to reduce or eliminate single use plastics. Lastly, encourage restaurants and retailers to participate in programs like Surfrider Foundation's OCEAN FRIENDLY RESTAURANT program.
SINGLE USE PLASTIC POLLUTION
a'Beachin Soap Company is committed helping reduce the use of single use plastics globally. A percentage of every subscription will go to support local organizations like Surfrider's "Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program" and its efforts to eliminate or curb the restaurant industries use of "single use plastic" items. Do you need help or want to join others with a mission similar to yours? Reach out to our partner organizations like the Surfrider Foundation in your local areas for help.
YOUR PERSONAL ACTIONS MATTERS
STOP BUYING FROM COMPANIES WHO PACKAGE IN "SINGLE USE" PLASTIC - From beans to deodorant stop supporting corporations that package in plastic. Flour, sugar and cement still come in paper bags so why are other items not packaged in paper? STOP using plastic "t-shirt" bags at the retailers and START using reusable shopping bags. You can make recycled t-shirt shopping bags at home from recycled T-Shirts. STOP using the clear plastic bags in the produce section and use ones made from recycled T-shirts. Bake your own bread or purchase bread sold in paper bags.
Stop drinking water in plastic water bottles and start filling your own re-usable water bottle. Stop using single use plastic coffee cups, lids and stirring sticks and start carrying your own reusable coffee cup. Share on Goggle maps coffee shops that give discounts for patrons who bring their own cups while calling out those that are not so kind. Refuse plastic straws when ever possible and insist they use reusable glass straws or bring back paper straws. REFUSE to order out from restaurants that use styrofoam clam shells. - Encourage restaurant operators to change from styrofoam to paper. Pack your own lunch using paper and reusable containers
On a personal level, you can start reducing you plastic footprint starting with your bathroom. Start out by using soap & shampoo bars instead of soaps that are in plastic containers or wrappers. Use vinegar instead of conditioner. Multi use soap bars are even better in reducing bathroom waste. One example is to eliminate shaving cream cans when using a multi purpose soap bar. You can reduce plastic waste by making your own mouthwash and storing it in a recycled glass jar. Only purchase deodorant that is not packaged in plastic containers. Use lip balm that is not packaged in plastic. Further more only purchase toothbrushes made from natural products like bamboo and not made of plastic. Finally ONLY purchase razors that do not use plastic in the blades or handles.
Start by reducing the amount of single use plastic bags you consume by of reuseable containers. Recycle glass jars and use them to store dry goods, bulk items and left overs in the refrigerator. Combine this with a bulk purchasing strategy and you end up with a win win outcome.
Use vinegar over commercial chemicals to reduce your exposure to harmful toxins. RE-use the "single use" spray bottles when they are empty with environmentally friendly ingredients.
FINALLY, a'Beachin commitment
If we want change for tomorrow, we have to be willing to change today. a’Beachin Soap Company is in it with you and that is why we developed our line of personal care products. We want to help you reduce your plastic footprint while helping others and improving one’s health. We call it our “GOOD for ALL ™ ” campaign. a’Beachin is committed to delivering basic personal care products without the use of single use plastic while building on our vision of influencing other companies to follow our model. Just say NO PLASTIC. #aBeachinNOPlastic