What else can and should be done?
We should reduce the plastic in the environment. For this we need to make sure no new plastic is dumped, and we need to get out the plastic which is already in the environment. By compensating the yearly disposed amount of single-use plastics, we can collect it from the ocean and the surrounding environment.
With your donation we are able to collect the equivalent amount of ocean bound single-use plastic and lead it back to a new production life cycle.
The more people compensate their consumption of single-use plastic, the slower will be the increase of plastic in the ocean. This process is an essential temporary measure, while we undertake the following measures to reduce the newly disposed plastics.
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In the same time we need to modify our habits, if not we will remain in a never-ending cycle of dumping and cleaning up. It would be comparable to wiping up the floor, while the sink is still overflowing.
The long-term goal should be the abolition of single-use plastics, towards reusable and recyclable products and packaging. There is the known concept of the 3R: Reduce – Reuse – Recycle.
- It should only be bought what is really needed. The demand directs the market, and therefore the manufacturing of products. Reduced consumption adjusts the offer.
- Take into consideration buying used products.
- Selling no more needed in order to reduce the number of unused products lying around.
- Products can be shared. Not everyone needs to own everything. Most products are needed only in a certain time frame. This increases the utilization of products and reduces the number of unused products.
- Products can be repaired instead of being discarded.
- Groceries can be sold unpacked. Most cities have zero waste / unpackaged grocery stores. Most normal supermarkets offer fruits and vegetables unwrapped. Just bring your own bags and jars for shopping.
02 + 03
Reuse or truly recycle
- As already described under point 1, most products can be reused. They change hands when they are no longer needed or can be repaired if they have a defect.
- The packaging sector plays a major role in disposable plastics. One solution could be switching to reusable packaging materials, such as glass or fabric etc. Another solution could be switching to decomposable materials, made of renewable raw materials (often based on wood). There are already nets containing fruit or vegetables which are made of cellulose and can be composted, or disposable tableware which is made of bamboo fibres.
- Another form of reuse is real recycling – leading material back into another production life cycle. Even if the reusable material waste is looked at as recycling waste, unfortunately very little of it is really reused again. Often this is not easily possible because costs are too high or the occurrence of mixed plastics. Every packaging has many demands (depending on the product to be packaged, the transportation, the targeted buyer etc.). This sometimes leads to plastic which is made from different components. Certain mixtures are not reusable and can only be disposed. For example, a genuinely recycling is possible with the well-known PET bottles, if they end up in the right place. These can be cleaned, sorted by colour and shredded to produce new PET bottles. Such an almost loss-free cycle requires the recyclability on the specifications of the packaging engineer, the necessary machinery, the associated transport logistics and finally the discipline of the correct disposal by the consumer.