Try The Challenges

We are addicted to disposable plastic trash. It is a problematic pollutant in our societies that is solve-able with effort. It is great to see more governments banning or adding a tax on disposable shopping bags: http://www.bigfatbags.co.uk/bans-taxes-charges-plastic-bags/

France is trying to be free of plastic cutlery/tableware by 2020. San Francisco has already banned selling plastic water bottles and am sure there are more initiatives in our world.

The plastic chain
– we continually put it down our waterways with micro-beads
– we throw it away believing it is no longer our responsibility or we think we are doing good by recycling plastic
– recycled plastic eventually ends up in our environment. An example: Fleece is plastic. Fibers from fleece wash into our waterways and our animals are consuming those micro-plastic particles.
– local governments may or may not dispose of it correctly…too many illegally dump
– animals eat it, plants absorb it causing problems to other animals
– ….and we eat it causing a number of problems to ourselves.

But with a bit of effort we can change our habits. If you want to support the Tyre Lady, start by reducing the amount of plastic you use.  Here are the challenges:

Level 1 Challenge: Refuse single use plastic by bringing your own:

  • Plate and cutlery to canteens and parties that serve plastic
  • Cup as many places serve plastic.
  • Cloth bag
  • Reusable water bottle

Refuse to purchase or accept items that will be sold in plastic (such as those served from drink dispensing machines).

Refuse products that contain micro-beads. For a list of those products see here: http://www.beatthemicrobead.org/product-lists/

Level 2 Challenge: Reuse & Refuse

  • For bin liners consider reusing the empty plastic food bags if you purchase foods with plastic packaging.
  • If you are at this level, then consider finding places that require you to BYO “packaging” to reduce plastic food packaging. This is a great article for those wanting to “kick the plastic habit” https://www.zerowasteweek.co.uk/shop-without-excess-packaging/ and there are shops (though rare) that sell goods in zero packaging. The web is your friend to find these places 🙂
  • Freecycle (https://www.freecycle.org/search) stuff
  • Lots on the web for craft and ways to reuse plastic, especially plastic bottles

For women – consider “reusable sanitary ware” such as a menstrual cup and/or cotton cloth pads that can be washed (web searches will tell you what you can get locally)

For people with babies – consider elimination communication to ditch the nappies, save money and have a closer relationship with your child 🙂

Level 3 Challenge: Repair and Upcycle

  • Learn to fix stuff and upcycle. Lots of resources on the web to show you how.
  • Repair cafes are popping up around the world. The USA and UK have Repair Cafe. Singapore has Repair Kopitiam.

Level 4 Challenge: Request

  • Request the government installs water dispensers in public places like air ports and train stations so that you can fill up your own bottle
  • Request events like marathons to consider encouraging participants to bring their own bottles and provide water dispensers at tables.
  • Request organisations package goods in environmental packaging.

A final on types of packaging as there is confusion between the terms Degrade-able (and some companies mean this but call their packaging bio-degradeable) vs Biodegrade-able vs Compostable: http://green-plastics.net/posts/85/the-difference-between-degradable-biodegradable-and-compostable/

Thank you if you have gone all the way to level 4. Collectively we can make this a better world.

What happened to Recycle? Plastic is a low priority to many municipals around the world. So get this: glass, metal, cardboard has a recycle rate of about 99%; plastic on average around the world has a recycle rate of 10%. That means over 90% of the world’s plastic is landfilled / illegally dumped / incinerated. We can stop this.

Look at what’s in your bin and be responsible for what you throw away.

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