It was in your toothbrush this morning, the makeup you used, the car you drove to work. Even if you were to forget the major consumer products and household goods, there’s plastics in your clothing and the disposable coffee cups that are seemingly cardboard. We’re literally drowning in plastic and as useful as it maybe its become a major epidemic.
Since plastic production took off around the 50’s, we’ve built a mountain of nearly 9.2 billion tons of the stuff to deal with. Of that, more than 6.9 billion tons have become waste. And of that waste, a staggering 6.3 billion tons never made it to a recycling bin- its like we weren’t even trying! According to the Ocean Conservatory micro-plastics have been found in 60% of all tested birds and nearly all species of turtle. Ingesting plastics have life threatening effects on animals and humans that consume them, we’re practically dumping a garbage truck full of single use plastics into the ocean each minute- and it shows.
Fortunately, though as late to the mark as it may be, people have started to give a shit. Countries have begun to enforce bans on single use plastics; Rwanda and Barbados have enforced a ban on single use plastic bags and Canada intends to ban most single use plastics by 2021. Last year, a wave of protesting customers in the UK posted so many chips packets back to their manufacturers for being non-recyclable that the postal service was overwhelmed (The Guardian).
Major brands have also stepped up to the plate by reducing single use plastics in with Coco-cola and Unilever pledging to reduce plastic waste by 2025. But if you’re looking to support businesses that are doing their part today, we’ve narrowed a few great brands that are reducing their carbon footprint and doing their part to reduce plastic waste:
Lush Cosmetics: It may come as a surprise but a lot of plastic goes into your beauty routine. Lush has already been a keen advocate for social and environmental wellness and sells their shampoo and conditioner bars, bath bomb and lipstick refills packaging free. In a pioneering step however, the company has recently launched ‘Naked’ shops in Milan, Berlin and Manchester which are exclusively plastic free. And as far as quality goes, we can vouch for the delicious scents and great skincare! Pro tip- they also have cute totes and knot wraps that make great reusable gift wraps.
Keep Cup: Using a reusable cup to assist your 5 a-day caffeine addiction is probably a no-brainer. Keep-cup is an Australian manufacturer that not only produces a great looking reusable mug but they’re also committed to keeping their production and logistics impact low. Their packaging is 100% recyclable and to reduce their carbon footprint all production is done locally at their Australian, US and UK hubs. The company has also committed to donating 1% of their global sales revenue to charities that support the environment and biodiversity.
But despite all the moves in the right direction, plastics are tricky not because they’re necessarily better, but because its cheaper – so much cheaper, which is why businesses and consumers had no regrets using them briefly and throwing them away. Plastic made possible the cheap and disposable consumer culture that we have come to take for granted. To take on plastic is in some way to take on consumerism itself. It requires us to recognize our impact on the daily- what products we’re using, where it comes from and where its headed.
This is why we are launching the Smple Society Campaign to encourage our community members to help #savetheocean through everyday tasks that take little effort but can have a huge impact.
Every week for the next month, we will have ONE task for you. Take a photo while doing these tasks and share them on instagram with the hashtags #smpleworld AND #savetheocean, so that we can start a movement on social media to help mitigate the harm done to the ocean.
WEEK 1 June 19-June 26, 2019
Task: Avoid using plastic mugs/cups.
Whether its going out to a cafe for a coffee, having water at the office or even drinks on a picnic, avoid using plastic cups/mugs at all cost. Bring your own reusable mug wherever you go!
Follow us @smpleworld
Make sure your Instagram profile is public
Since you have done your part, Tag 3 friends on our latest Instagram Post, so that they can get involved in this movement as well.
We will feature all these entries on our website and magazine, so that we can celebrate spreading goodness together!
5 lucky submissions will win a surprise Giveaway
We are also running an art contest for this campaign HERE