Don Ross is one of Bullfrog’s longest standing customers and has been an environmental organizer for the past 10 years. He is a founding member of the County Sustainability Group.
Here, Don writes about the prevalence of plastic products in our society—and how we can all do our part to mitigate plastic waste. The original piece was published in Don’s regular column in the County Weekly News.
There has been much more attention paid to the mind-boggling issue of volume of plastic being used and abandoned in our world, and far too little attention paid to how to address the growing concern. We should take the time to consider our own contributions to this massive problem and some simple solutions to put into action. As you read on, keep in mind that for each minute you are reading one million new plastic bottles will be sold in our world unless we change our ways.
As George Monbiot, writer for The Guardian, aptly puts it, “With every generation, the baseline of normalized consumption shifts. Thirty years ago, it was ridiculous to buy bottled water, where tap water is clean and abundant.”
Maybe you don’t care about the money it costs to manufacture these water bottles, or the carbon footprint of that production—you recycle your bottles, after all! However, this information courtesy of The Guardian may surprise you: Fewer than half the bottles bought in 2016 were collected for recycling and just 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles. Most plastic bottles produced end up in landfill or in the ocean. Between five and 13 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the world’s oceans each year to be ingested by sea birds, fish and other organisms, and by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish, according to research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Experts warn that some of it is already finding its way into the human food chain.
Here are a few simple actions we can take to reduce our plastic footprint on the planet, as suggested by Greenpeace:
- Find out where to buy bulk foods and supplies in your area. Search using Ecosia or visit zerowastehome.com for some ideas.
- Make a list of household items you use regularly and buy them in bulk.
- Prepare for bulk purchases with reusable tote bags and containers.
- Give up disposable products in your home and replace them with re-usable options in all possible situations.
Generally, the more convenient something is, the worse it is for our planet. Let’s all start embracing inconvenience for the good of us all and future generations.
Submitted by bullfrogpowered customer Don Ross of Milford, Ontario