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The Future of Single Use Plastics

Here is something interesting on single use plastics.  Please guys, use and reuse the Zipper bag – a much better option for packaging and storage.

Let’s find out first what is single use plastic – this is from Plastic Free Challenge

“WHAT IS SINGLE-USE PLASTIC AND WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?

Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging.

We produce roughly 300 million tons of plastic each year and half of it is disposable! World-wide only 10% of plastic items are recycled. The nature of petroleum based disposable plastic makes it difficult to recycle and they have to add new virgin materials and chemicals to it to do so. Additionally there are a limited number of items that recycled plastic can be used.

Petroleum based plastic is not biodegradable and usually goes into a landfill where it is buried or it gets into the water and finds it’s way into the ocean. Although plastic will not biodegrade, (decompose into natural substance like soil), it will break down into tiny particles after many years. In the process of breaking down, it releases toxic chemicals (additives that were used to shape and harden the plastic) which make their way into our food and water supply.

These toxic chemicals can be found in our bloodstream. And the latest research has linked them to cancer, infertility, birth defects, impaired immunity and many other ailments.

We produce hundreds of millions of tons of plastic every year, most of which cannot be recycled. It’s obvious that we need to use less plastic, move towards sustainable products and services, and come up with technology that recycles plastic more efficiently. ”

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This next article was found at Science Alert

“The End of Single-Use Plastic Has Officially Arrived

The EU is cracking down.  By CHELSEA GOHD, FUTURISM

It has been estimated that by 2021, humans will annually use as many as half a trillion plastic bottles.

Our consumption and the production of single-use plastics is out of control, with over 8 million tons of plastic entering the world’s oceans every year.

This growing problem threatens Earth’s ecosystems in a dire way, choking natural habitats and harming wildlife that come across it. However, governments and companies around the world are not standing idly by as this problem worsens.

In a recent move to curb plastic waste, the EU has launched an effort to ensure that all packaging throughout Europe is reusable or recyclable by the year 2030.

This decision comes hot on the heels of China deciding to ban the import of foreign recyclable materials. Facing the possibility that plastics could pile up as a result, EU officials are looking for ways to cut down on waste and plastic pollution overall.

As part of this movement, Brussels has launched a plastics strategy that involves a €350 million (US$426 million) investment in plastics research.

Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the Brussels commission, described the damaging effects of these plastics in an interview with The Guardian: “single-use plastics that take five seconds to produce, you use it for five minutes and it takes 500 years to break down again.”

The move to reduce single-use plastics has become a worldwide initiative. For instance, the Asian food chain Wagamama has stated that starting on Earth Day, April 22nd, they will no longer offer plastic straws.

They will instead offer a biodegradable, paper alternative upon request. Additionally, the UK-based supermarket chain Iceland (not to be confused with the country) has announced that, by the end of 2023, it will either drastically reduce or completely eliminate the plastic packaging used with their brand-label products.

And in December, nearly 200 countries signed a United Nations resolution to eliminate plastic pollution in the ocean.

“If we don’t do anything about this, 50 years down the road we will have more plastic than fish in the oceans,” Timmermans told The Guardian.

He added that, when it comes to the use of single-use plastics, “it is an issue of mentality.” Consumers will have to become accustomed to some of the products they have long relied on being phased out.

“[One] of the challenges we face is to explain to consumers that arguably some of the options in terms of the colour of bottles you can buy will be more limited than before,” said Timmermans.

“But I am sure that if people understand that you can’t buy that lively green bottle, it will have a different colour, but it can be recycled, people will buy into this.”

As a part of this growing effort, the EU is assessing ways in which single-use plastics might be taxed. There have even been suggestions that, going forward, this could be a significant form of budget support.

These various efforts to reduce and eliminate plastic pollution are still in their early stages.

However, such initiatives – and their ability to inspire further action – are essential in cleaning up our oceans and preventing a future in which planet Earth is but a mere landfill.

This article was originally published by Futurism.”

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