I’m feeling more and more confident that on a whole humans are producing less plastic, the movement is globally strong and awareness has hit almost everyone I know.
There are so many products on the market these days that claim to be good for the environment but still end up trashing it, and I really want to talk about and share my personal experiences.
If you feel better about buying coffee because it comes in a Biocups, did you recycle or compost the cups? answer honestly because they are still designed to be single use and come with a plastic seal that takes forever to break down. The best way to tackle this is to slow it down, sit down and enjoy your barista made coffee in a beautiful ceramic vessel and if you don’t have the time use a keepcup, or even just a mug that you can reuse and hopefully receive a discount for it at the same time. I have found a number of companies in Australia where I live that collect and recycle/up cycle coffee cups specifically and they make reusable cups, or recycled wood, construction materials. Which is a great initiative but takes a lot of energy, and it is energy we can save while still enjoying a good cuppa!
In 2017 major supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths caved to pressure and banned plastic shopping bags which just in three months saved the planet from around 1.5 BILLION plastic bags. I think that is AMAZING and it really shows how unconscious some shoppers have become until they were taken away, but don’t be fooled by their available alternatives. I’m basing my knowledge from Australia but I know other countries’ supermarkets and grocery stores have reusable ‘green bags’ for sale that have been green washing shoppers for almost a decade because they are actually made from plastic which is thicker and actually takes a lot longer than plastic shopping bags to break down. Hope it didn’t fool you! Green bags are hard to be mistaken for jellyfish in the ocean but they can trash the planet for much longer. The best alternative is for shoppers to use plant based bags that can be re-used and can biodegrade like cotton, canvas, hemp, etc. I don’t want to discourage anyone either switching from single-use plastic bags to reusable is a step in the right direction – Good on you!
Straws suck. #stopsucking really rolls off the tongue too. I find this topic really frustrating. It’s funny plastic straws aren’t really necessary in the first place, they are used for an average of a few minutes and continue to trash the planet and terrorize ze turtles for god knows how long. I like to say no straw please when ordering, funny thing is I still received a straw the last two times. I breathed a sigh of relief when I was at a sailing club the other day and they had a sign on the side of the bar ” We are becoming a straw free venue” meaning we will give them out until they are gone. I understand the process of ‘becoming’ isn’t overnight and I really appreciate venues on and around the water making these much appreciated changes. Another cafe has converted to stainless steel straws they wash and reuse but they had to finish the 5000 plastic ones first – which took forever! Paper is better than plastic but just like green bags they still take energy to produce and just like Biocups they are designed to be single use.
I am improving everyday but sometimes I don’t think I need to say “no straw please” for my iced latte but every cafe does it differently, so I’ve taken to writing some love notes “Please think about the planet and avoid single-use plastics” “It’s only 1 straw said 8 billion people…every week”. I’m not really sure what they think when they read them but I like to think I’m doing something to turn off the plastic taps. I got the inspiration from Precious Plastics founder Dave Kakkens and artist friend Lieke made some beautiful stickers to remind people to Skip the Straw .
If you are doing something on a personal level, business level or government level please share your story below, I find it really inspiring to hear real stories.