Progress in the War Against Single-Use Plastics

Jun 11, 2019

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Across the world, citizen activists are putting pressure on single-use plastic producers. They’re also speaking out against complacent legislators, who are failing to grapple with the catastrophic effects of climate change.

Despite an all-out rebellion against the use of plastics in the manufacture of clothing, packaging, cosmetics and cleaning products, more than 340 million tonnes of the stuff are produced each year.

90.5% of all plastic is never recycled

An even more alarming statistic is that of the estimated 6 300 million metric tonnes of plastic that’s ever been generated on earth, 90.5 percent of it has never been recycled. And we all know where most of the waste has ended up… in our landfills and oceans.

Coral reefs are being smothered by thin films of single-use plastic. Turtles, whales, fish and sea birds are perishing after ingesting microbeads and carbon-generated waste. Rivers and waterways are so clogged up with plastic bottles and bags, millions of human lives are at risk should natural calamities strike.

World’s oceans get 8 million tons of plastic waste per year

The world’s oceans are in a shocking state. Yet each year, a further 8 million tons of plastic waste finds its way onto our beaches, into the deepest sea trenches, or simply swirls around on the surface in giant garbage patches, some of which are three-times the size of France!

Over the past few years, there’s been a surge of negative sentiment against plastic pollution and the associated environmental damage. Peaceful, people-based activism, embodied in the #PlasticMonster and Extinction Rebellion campaigns, has become a powerful tool for change.

How the war against single-use plastics is being won

Now, in 2019, there are deafening calls for governments, corporations and brands to do better. And the real influencers are heeding those calls. Right here in South Africa, and around the globe, there’s a growing commitment to a plastic-free world.

Here’s how countries, cities and brands are doing their bit in the war against single-use plastics:

  • Pick N Pay has recently introduced carrier bags made from 100 percent recycled materials
  • Woolworths has committed to phasing out single-use plastic bags by next year
  • Starbucks no longer supplies an estimated 1 billion plastic straws at its 28 000 coffee shops
  • San Diego, California has banned all Styrofoam food and drink containers, while plastic straws are outlawed in Washington DC
  • Peru has prohibited the use of plastic packaging in all its museums, national parks and protected areas

Is all plastic bad?

There’s a wide variety of different plastics, not all of which are necessarily bad for the environment. The problem arises when plastic items are discarded immediately after use.

More durable and resilient plastics are the basis of hundreds of diverse and frequently used items – from medical devices and lightweight automotive parts to heavy-duty packing boxes and housing components, like UPVC windows and doors.

As these plastic items are retained, reused multiple times, and recycled at the end-of-life, they may, in fact, be more environmentally friendly than any of the alternatives.

Eco-friendly Ecobox

As a South African company committed to reducing our impact on the environment, Ecobox supplies highly durable plastic moving boxes for rent.

Our Ecoboxes have compelling attributes of an eco-friendly alternative to conventional moving and storage boxes. We also provide a free cardboard recycling service to ensure our collective carbon footprint is as light on the earth as possible.

At Ecobox, we offer convenient, affordable, eco-friendly moving boxes that are ideal for office moves. Just order your boxes and we’ll deliver them to your doorstep – and once you’ve moved and unpacked, we’ll collect them from your new location.

Contact us for more information or get started now.

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