Just like Retulp, please support one of the above great initiatives to do something against the vastly increasing mountain of waste plastic. You can also easily take action against disposable plastic yourself.
If we are to solve the plastic crisis, we must move away from the throwaway culture. Yet companies with plastic-shine solutions are perpetuating this culture. The real solution is packaging that is refillable or reusable. Recycling, bio plastics and paper instead of plastic are false solutions.
False Solution: Recycling
Companies and governments are pounding recycling into us as THE solution. Some of the plastic waste that citizens collect separately ends up in countries like Malaysia or - even within the EU - can end up in illegal landfills. There is hardly any recycling. Since China closed its gates to waste plastic imports in 2018, the problems around recycling have been piling up. The main causes: the amount of waste plastic continues to increase, there is too little recycling capacity and there are no controls on trade. Plastic therefore overwhelmingly disappears into landfills or the environment. Just because something is recyclable doesn't mean it will be recycled. More than 90% of all produced plastic is never recycled. When plastic does get recycled, it is usually "downcycled. It is continually transformed into a lower quality product until it ends up in an incinerator.
False Solution: Paper
McDonalds replacing its plastic straws with paper straws, clothing stores giving you a paper bag instead of a plastic bag; more and more companies are replacing their disposable plastic products with paper. There is not nearly enough recycled paper to meet the enormous demand. And so a huge amount of forest is cut down worldwide for the production of packaging, tissues and toilet paper. If companies start replacing their plastic packaging with paper, the pressure on our forests will increase even more.
False Solution: Bioplastic
Think of the crinkly bags around organic peppers that say it's compostable, or Coca-Cola's "plant bottle. But what exactly is bioplastic? Bioplastics are plastics made from natural raw materials, such as corn, while 'regular' plastic is made from oil. And some of those bioplastics are compostable. But even compostable bioplastics only break down under the right (industrial) conditions. In nature, bioplastics behave just like 'regular plastic'. A turtle chokes on it just the same.
So what should be done?
The underlying problem is our disposable culture. We use a plastic package for a few seconds, when it is made to last for hundreds of years. If we really want to solve this problem, we need to start looking differently at how we deliver and use products. Companies play a crucial role in this. They keep the disposable culture going by relying on the above-mentioned false solutions. While the real solution is at hand; packaging that is refillable or reusable.