The Paddy Pallin office is joining our friends at Inspired Adventures by going plastic free for July, will you join us? We’re pledging to use our reusable coffee cups, say no to plastic shopping bags, and, when plastic does find its way into our lives, make sure it’s recycled! The problem with plastics We’ve all seen ugly plastic pollution and litter; it’s unfortunately ubiquitous. But it’s not just that bags and bottles on the roadside are unsightly. The amount of resource that goes into producing and shipping plastic items, which will be used once and then discarded is, well, pretty gross. All those plastic bags, straws, takeout containers, and bottles have to come from something. Non-renewable natural resources such as petrochemicals, gas, and coal are the raw input for new plastics. And we can’t just recycle this plastics problem away. The recycling process itself is resource intensive. Not all plastics, are recycled (even when put in the yellow bin), due the economies of supply and demand for recycling centers. Free plastics in the environment will find their way into the ocean where they are broken down into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics. These make up the the great plastic soup floating in the Pacific known as “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” In fact, as reported in the Guardian, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicted earlier this year there would be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 unless urgent action was taken. So, what’s an environmentally conscious person to do? For starters, you can join Plastic Free July and make an immediate impact while you make long-term lifestyle shifts. Image source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation Following India’s lead…No, really! If you’re thinking the plastics problem is too big to solve, here’s proof to the contrary. In 2015, India’s National Games set a goal: to be disposable-free. Ambitious to say the least. With hundreds of thousands attendees and an athlete’s village to feed, the task was huge – but so was the potential waste savings. A Green Protocol Committee was set up, and their action successfully stopped the generation of about 120 Metric tonnes of disposable waste over the entire duration of the Games. As quoted in the New India Times, the committee’s executive director says, “Most of the caterers, in all the 30 Games venues, took extra effort to provide clean and reusable tableware each time they served food. The best examples for this are ‘Kudumbasree’, which served food to nearly 10,000 people every day in reusable tableware and Suchitwa Mission, which distributed water to spectators in all the 30 venues, in stainless steel tumblers. They served coffee, tea and soft drinks in the same tumblers.” Get Started Think of all the single use items you’ve used in the last week. Which of these can be replaced with reusable? Coffee cups, disposable water bottle, takeaway containers, and grocery bags all have eco-friendly reusable alternatives! Great Coffee Cup alternatives can be found from Klean Kanteen & Camelbak, reusable water bottles from Nalgene, Klean Kanteen and Camelbak while Sea To Summit has a super durable reusable shopping bag and Ultra Si Day Pack that fits into your handbag or daypack. Bring your own pillow or neck-rest on a plane. Ditch the straw! It’s what your lips were made for. Buy in bulk or at packaging-free stores. At grocers like The Source or Wasteless Pantry you BYO a container (such as a Klean Kanteen & Nalgene) to scoop in however much you need and skip the plastics. Slow down. The bulk of single use plastic is created for convenience’s sake. Do you really need to take away your food and drink to go sit somewhere else and eat it? Dine in! Have your coffee in the café in a real, ceramic mug. Take a reusable spoon or spork (then you can share an ice cream). PlasticFreeJuly.org have a heap of tips and suggestions to help you ban the bag, and all the other single use plastic. Get onto it and signup to the pledge this July. Paddy Pallin is also continuing to strive and make everyday a plastic free day. We are using the facilities at Redcycle to recycle any soft plastic waste that comes from the clothing and equipment industry amongst other recycling initiatives instore and our office. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.