Focus on Plastic

the problem, solutions, resources and moving towards a circular economy

This July we take a look at plastic the problem it presents and the solutions in action. We also provide meaningful ways that you can make a difference. Once I read that the reason why people litter is because they think that someone else will pick it up. Human beings along the way seem to have forgotten that they are interdependent and interconnected with and are part of nature. This page isn’t specifically ‘anti-plastic’ it is about shifting our paradigm, making conscious choices on how we produce and use what has turned out to be a very harmful to the earth. There are solutions and the industry itself must adapt.

This page is dedicated to plastic – if you’ve visited the site before you know that a lot of information is on each page – please scroll down to explore videos, solutions, info, including ways you can make a difference.

(That ice coffee might look good, but we need to rethink how we package goods.)

1

The Problem

Society has created a complex problem, such as the use of plastic. A product that lasts ‘forever’ and is toxic to all life on the planet. People continue to exacerbate the problem by unconsciously buying products that use excessive plastic packaging and single use items. Proper recycling systems are not in place to deal with this issue YET and human beings pollute the rivers, lands and oceans with their non-perishable waste polluting the planet and putting all life in danger. Sounds depressing and horrible, yes, we created a mess.

2

Current Status: Evolution and Development of Technologies

People realise the error of their ways and innovative thinkers and communities gather together to address this massive problem by designing and implementing solutions. Some countries with smart governments fund these projects. Other innovators find ways to profit from their designs. Every person has the ability to participate in change. It’s taking a long time but it is happening. A paradigm shift is in progress, still, much more people must WAKE-UP and change the way they exist on the planet – they must do more than becoming conscious – we all must take action every small step moves us towards solutions and sustainability.

3

Moving Towards A Paradigm Shift

We’re on our way, we have the technology and the brain power. We need to enlist everyone to make this transition happen and move away from the economy of consumption to a circular economy. Recycle, Renew, Rebirth, Love, Community, Connectedness. Stop buying products that continue to exacerbate the problem and/or put pressure on companies to change their reliance on plastic goods. Explore this page for ways you can make a difference. If you enjoy the various resources, videos, articles and other media presented here, please share your thoughts in the comments below and share this page with your friends.

Actively participate in SOLUTIONS

Be the change. Take small actions.

Stop complaining and blaming ‘they.’ You are they.

Educate Yourself for FREE

Take a class in Human Centered Design and prototyping and learn how design constraints can work to your advantage. Learn various techniques to refine ideas, work with teams and turn ideas into reality. Scroll down for upcoming classes in 2017.

You have needs, shop consciously

Buy products that are durable, reusable and repairable. AVOID SINGLE USE PRODUCTS razors, packaging, nappies, plastic bags and those products containing toxics (PVC, brominated flame retardants, DPA)

Talk about it

You don't need to throw yourself into a state of apathy or deep depression when discussing these issues. We're better when we work together. Talk about it and the conversation might just lead you and your friends to come up with a solution or take action in your community. Every action counts.

Reusable durable bags

Always bring your own reusable canvas or other reusable material bags to package your food when shopping.Chances are you have a small fee to pay for bags at your local stores. Some larger chains even sell reusable bags.

Meat

If you eat meat, buy from your local butcher. Not only will you purchase a higher quality food, you won't be purchasing foam and plastic packaging typically seen in hypermarkets and grocery chain stores.

Write Letters

Start a letter writing, email or social media campaign and let companies know that they need to change, that packaging matters, sustainability matters - tell them how much you like their products and when possible offer them alternatives or simply ask them to explain why their company isn't implementing environmentally sound practices.

Support Local Fruit & Veg stores

What's up with grocery stores overuse of packaging materials? Many overuse and sell products that don't require packaging. Stop buying produce that is wrapped in plastic. Most local shops don't support that kind of waste.

Compost

Compost You don't need fancy equipment, you can compost (even if you live in an apartment) click here for a guide

Take one of the several CHALLENGES presented below!

Plastic Free UK

cutting unnecessary plastic


Plastic Free UK's website in addition to it's directory (read more below) provides a lot of useful information including plastic facts, news and more. PLASTIC-FREE UK is about cutting unnecessary plastic. Working towards sustainable use, reducing abuse and cutting the rubbish. Plastic Free UK is an organisation that is compiling a directory of UK-based groups, organisations businesses and individuals who are responding to the problems presented by the misuse of plastic. That does not mean anti-plastic necessarily but certainly plastic-problem aware and

The Rubbish Diet

Slim your bin!


Take the Rubbish Diet and slim your bin. Do your bit for the environment and save some cash at the same time! In 2008, Karen Cannard, from Bury St Edmunds started an unusual diet - The Rubbish Diet. She started to blog about and by the end of an 8 week trial she threw away only one plaster! Fast forward 8 years and she’s still blogging and helping people to reduce waste and save money too. Dieting isn't a dirty word when you are cleaning up the trash. Over three weeks, The Rubbish Diet will help you recycle more, shop better and make the most of your food. During this period you receive emails to help guide you.

The Plastic Pollution Coalition

Reducing Plastic Consumption


Plastic pollution is an environmental and social justice issue.

Living Plastic Free
Guide: Plastic Free Schools
Guide: Plastic Free Events
Guide: Plastic Free Eateries

My Plastic Free Life

'Together, we can change the world.'


Beth Terry, after learning about the devastating effects of plastic pollution and her own plastic footprint, she became an activist, author, and public speaker. Her blog (formerly known as “Fake Plastic Fish”) has evolved into a comprehensive resource on plastic-free living.

Plastic Free July


Plastic Free July is an effort in Australia but there is no reason you can't apply these tips and tricks worldwide. They provide actionable ways you can consciously reduce or eliminate your plastic consumption - Alternatives Cleaning Cooking Food storage Gardening Gifts Meals on-the-go Personal care Pet care Shopping

The Story of Bottled Water

Find a Campaign and Take Action


The Story of Bottled Water Find a Campaign and Take Action You may have heard about The Story of Stuff. It's grown a lot and there is a page loaded with ways you can participate and take action - it's easier than you think. Check out this list of various campaigns. Here is the page where you can take action specifically with regards to PLASTICS. There is power in numbers, yes it takes a village and your voice can be heard, you just need to participate. Forget apathy and stop wondering what you can do to stop the insanity - do it! Be the change.

“Now is the time for implementation. We must now begin to practice what we have preached – changing our production and consumption patterns in order to create virtuous cycles rather than depletive ones and harnessing the global interconnectedness, communications technology and breakthroughs in materials science.” – Chris Grantham, IDEO

Michigan: Write to your legislators and demand that the new law that bans banning plastic be amended or overturned.

Idaho, Arizona, and Missouri have all passed similar laws, says the Washington Post, and in every case, these laws have been positioned as business-friendly defences against additional regulation.

Is this the will of the people who live in Michigan? Do the people want this? Did the people have any say in this determination? Did government officials receive gifts and other rewards from lobbyists?

SB-0853, As Passed Senate, May 10, 2016

SENATE BILL No. 853

March 15, 2016, Introduced by Senators STAMAS, HORN, BRANDENBURG, SHIRKEY and SCHMIDT and referred to the Committee on Commerce.

A bill to preempt local ordinances regulating the use, disposition, or sale of, prohibiting or restricting, or imposing any fee, charge, or tax on certain containers.

“Plastic bags don’t biodegrade–not even the biodegradable ones. They just break down into ever smaller pieces and end up polluting waterways, oceans, and lakes where they choke fish and fill the bellies of seabirds and whales. But Michigan’s ban isn’t just on bags. It also covers cups, bottles, and other packaging, reusable or single-use. Nor does it cover only plastic. Anything that is “made of cloth, paper, plastic, cardboard, corrugated material, aluminium, glass, post-consumer recycled material, or similar material or substrates” is included in the ban.” (source: Fast Company)

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Packaging

Take conscious action, buy products packaged in glass.Glass can be recycled forever.

Buy bottled water in glass bottles.

If you do buy water in plastic bottles, give them a 2nd, 3rd or 4th life re-using them when possible and then recycle them.

Water in Bottles

If you are opposed to drinking tap water, then buy a water filter, get a reusable transportable water bottle and just stop buying water in plastic.

Stop buying empty plastic containers for food storage

Store all your leftovers and other goods in glass jars or glass bowls with or without re-sealable lids. They are cheaper than plastic, recyclable, keep food fresh and are BPA free. No more chemicals leaching in your food and no more plastic endangering and ruining the planet. When you have no other alternative, wash and reuse plastic packaging containers that were filled with food you have purchased instead of buying empty containers. Give them a second life through reuse. If they break then make sure to recycle them.

Stop buying food packaged in plastic containers.

or stop chemicals from leaching into your food.

Stop buying food packaged in plastic containers. Buy the brands that use glass or metal. If a product is packed in plastic that you really want and like, write a letter to the company, post on social media, etc. and let them know that it's not okay. Single use plastic is one of the most destructive products on this planet.

Fish, seabirds, mammals, all sea life is affected by our insane idea that is it okay to dump our waste in the ocean. Where would we put it otherwise? Well, we would be forced to think about that and come up with creative solutions instead of just hiding it away.

Marine life is helpless against our folly, we’re not.

5 Huge Gyres – Garbage Patches Exist in the Oceans

It’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic garbage in the sea than fish. The great Pacific Garbage Patch (1 of 5 in the world) is 2x the size of Texas



Why you should give a shit!

There was a video here embedded from Facebook of a whale that died – filled with plastic – it’s still on Facebook but they have censored it because it shows REALITY and HUMAN FOLLY. Click here if you want to watch it.

Seabirds eat the plastic and feel full, they then starve to death.

They also feed their young who die from the plastic.

It is estimated that one million seabirds die each year from plastic waste.


From Fleece Jackets to Your Food: The Scary Journey of Microplastics

National Geographic