2018 has seen an intensified focus on the damage single-use plastics can cause to the environment. For The United Nations Environment Programme's World Environment Day 2018, the focus has been "Beat Plastic Pollution." They published a very extensive, intriguing report, The State of Plastics, that is certainly worth a read. It's a bit of a deep read though, so we've pulled out some interesting quotes for an overview. What we are most excited about at Ross & Wallace is the focus on environmentally sustainable packaging like paper which is recyclable, reuseable, compostable, and biodegradable.
- "It is estimated that roughly 5 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. That is almost 10 million plastic bags per minute. If tied together, plastic bags could be wrapped around the world seven times every hour." (p.6)
- "Depending on their composition, reusable bags might have to be deconstructed in the recycling process to separate the different materials. Consequently, reusable bags are often not recycled. This means that millions of reusable bags end up in landfills at the end of their useful life." (p.8)
- "The term “biodegradable” may be misunderstood by customers to mean bags that are fit for home composting or bags that break down in the environment naturally and quickly. In reality, the majority of biodegradable plastics only biodegrade under high temperatures." (p.8)
- "It is neither possible nor desirable to remove all plastic from society. However, given the scale of today’s plastic crisis, alternative materials have a significant role to play in reducing our dependence on plastic, whose cost and convenience has seen production of the material skyrocket in recent decades. This trend is set to continue, meaning that our ability to deal with plastic waste, which is already beyond breaking point, will deteriorate further." (p. 14)