All By Put Down the Plastic an Image created by CustomMade / Since plastics were first introduced to the U.S. during the mid-late 19th century, we’ve been dependent on the material for it’s versatility, convenience, and function. Currently, plastics are one of the most used materials on a volume basis in U.S.A. Not reclaimed wood consequently.
That’s in industrial and commercial life.
Unfortunately, the sheer mass of plastic used is too much.
From containers, packaging, appliances, plates, cups, and so forth. All has gravely impacted the environment. An estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic occupy each square mile of ocean. Consequently, at least two thirds of the world’s fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion.
Moreover and as I’ve written before:
GAIA’s field investigations in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand detailed illegal recycling operations. As well as crime syndicates, open burning, water contamination, crop death, and a rise of illness tied to environmental pollution. So that has led citizens to protest and governments to rush in restrictions. All to protect their borders, many following China’s lead with import bans.
Data indicates that Southeast Asia’s current plastics crisis is the pinnacle of a global experience. With waste piling up globally and domestically for all countries involved. Ironically even former exporters. So across the board, plastic waste exports dropped almost 50 percent. That’s from 12.5 million tons in 2016 to 5.8 million tons in 2018 (available data from January to November 2018). Because plastic manufacturing is projected to rise, this drop in exports in part means ‘recyclable’ plastics will continue to stockpile or head for improper disposal at home.
Alternative materials, such as reclaimed wood, steel, and glass can help gradually reduce our reliance on plastic. Also it will pose less of an impact on the Earth like reclaimed wood. So reducing plastic use can range from short term decisions. That’s like swapping plastic sandwich bags for washable canvas or throwaway plastic utensils for metal ones. Also to more long term changes, such as trading in your plastic picnic tables for reclaimed wood barn tables. Finally, smart swaps can make a big difference over time.