Do you think it is impossible to live without plastic? How did people live before him?
Today, plastic is present in all areas of our lives, although much is said about its harm to the environment. It’s in our kitchens, in our toiletries, it packs pretty much everything we buy and unfortunately it’s also in our oceans.
As amazing as plastic may sound, it is a “new” element in our society, its massive production only began around the 1950s. Although it was discovered around the 1900s it was only produced to replace small essential materials. But the real revolution of the disposable culture happened after 1950s, so we can think that our great-grandparents, grandparents and maybe even our parents went through their childhood without using plastic.
Before the invention of synthetic polymers, objects were made of wood, metals, glass, paper, ivory, resin, ceramics, rubber, among others.
Many have said that the world as it is today would not be possible without the innovations of plastic. In order to replace materials that were already becoming scarce in nature, plastic was the perfect alternative.
Plastic takes more than 400 years to decompose, so much of it still exists on earth in any form.
On the human side, we can’t deny the benefits, plastics have saved and still save many lives: no one wants to go back to the time of reusable syringes and needles shared among patients. We know the importance of plastic for medicine, for many technological inventions such as automobiles, cell phones, computers, an endless list.
What happens is that one billion tons of plastic have been produced in recent decades and much of this amount is turning into garbage and debris (NatGeo). In Mozambique alone, around 12.5 million tons of plastic waste are deposited annually in the waters, an action seen as one of the main polluters of the sea and which directly impacts marine resources (MIPAIP).
Everyone needs to do their part. We need to rethink our daily life and see what are the items made of plastic that we use only once and throw away and find alternatives to these.
Some simple suggestions are:
– Use reusable bags when you go shopping;
– Bring your own containers when buying food in restaurants;
– Take reusable water bottles wherever you go instead of buying water in disposable plastic bottle on the way;
– Avoid disposable utensils such as straws, cutlery, plates and plastic cups;
– Avoid processed food (which are stored in plastic packaging containing toxic chemicals) prefer fresh food and refuse plastic bags;
– Swap toothbrushes for others made of bamboo and synthetic sponges for vegetable sponges.
One change at a time we can reduce the amount of plastic products in our lives and replace it with greener and more sustainable products.
And if you still need to use products that contain plastic, you can separate and send to a recycling site, so you you will give it a better destination than rivers and oceans!!