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Story 07. Plastic

Posted by Lan Shin on
Story 07. Plastic

Do you live without plastics?

We don’t.

Even if we always look for good alternatives to plastic, as in the case with our raw silk travel towel, it is still very tricky to go completely plastic (microplastics/microfibres) free.

We live in an apartment building, we have a car, and we use a mobile phone, camera, washing machine, and other electronic goods. We buy drinks and snacks, store food, wear shoes and sometimes a waterproof jacket.

 

Plastic is a very versatile material and has many hard to beat benefits. In some cases, it is still the most suitable alternative, i.e. as a packaging material for some product categories. And overall, it would be unfair to not admit that it has brought serious advancements to our lives.

To speak for its benefits, plastic packaging material reduces huge amounts of food waste. Food waste is a global problem, and with the right plastic packaging food will stay fresh for longer, and the waste can be significantly reduced.

Light plastic packing solutions generate savings in transport. A transport truck can be loaded with more stuff and consequently less carbon dioxide emissions produced. (unless the production of packaging materials releases more emissions than the transports, complicated stuff)

Plastic materials are also greatly used in fashion and outdoor industries due to some of the absolute benefits it provides. It makes the wears and gears functional, light, durable, and consumers can often buy them to a lower price than if they were made of natural materials.

 

The harm it does to our planet is becoming more and more obvious. The development of civilization and technology hardly goes backward, but there are lots of people who work hard to increase awareness and to provide alternatives and methods to decrease this effect. Not considering what each one of us can do would be ignorant. However, for the great mass to apply changes they probably need to happen in small steps.

An obvious first good step is to choose plastic-free products when you can and when appropriate.

Don’t just boycott all plastics because others are doing. Think for yourself.

You can also consider this:

  • Do not throw away plastic products you have just to replace it with a plastic-free one.

  • Plan for your next purchase. Think twice about the purpose of use.

  • Repair if you can, to extend the lifespan.

  • Reuse in other ways to extend the lifespan.

  • For clothing made of synthetic fabric, wash in cold water, wash less often, and use a washing bag to capture microfibres.

  • Dispose of properly so that they can be recycled/upcycled.

  • Donate to where there might be a need.

  • Return your clothing/gear to the company you bought them from for repair and recycling if applicable. A few outdoor brands are taking the products back for their repairing/recycling program. e.g., Patagonia, Houdini, VivoBarefoot (Revivo by Vivo), so please check.

  • Preferably eliminate the use of disposable or single-use products.

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