In this brief project I will be discussing how Australia and the world should aim to reduce their plastic use by half by 2021 and how to do it.
There has already been lots of research done into replacements for plastic items (bags, bottles etc) but none of it ever seems to make it out into the world.
This short video shows the newly developed "algae water bottle". Inhabitat.com wrote and article on this an described how it takes 30 days to break down into nothing unless still full of water or refrigerated. Plastic bottles can last thousands of years before even nearly breaking down. The algae bottle is even edible and has some health benefits.
In the U.S alone 50 billion plastic water bottles were used last year, and only 23% got recycled, that's over 1 billion dollars in plastic gone to waste!
Plastic bags are a commonly used item for carrying other objects around , they're water proof and cheap. They are also extremely bad for the environment. An estimated 3.76 billion plastic bags are thrown away each year, in Australia alone! To put this into contrast the population of Australia is 24 million!
Lots of these bags end up in the ocean. Turtles and whales often mistake these bags for jellyfish and ingest the plastic bags. Plastic bags contain absolutely no nutritional value, are extremely toxic and don't digest in the animals stomach, so they either stay in the gut or throat. The huffington post wrote an article on a beached whale with over 30 plastic bags found in its stomach.
A simple solution is just to bring your own shopping bags, preferably made out of wool or string . It's not a new groundbreaking invention, it's been around for years and it could genuinely make the world a better place.
In America 27.4 billion, single use plastic nappies are used each year. This equates to roughly 3447302012 kilograms of nappies each year, in America alone! This is enough to stretch to the moon and back nine times. They take up roughly 30% of waste in landfills, only being beaten by newspapers and food and drink canisters. To make matters worse the nappies (even the Eco friendly ones) contain a dangerous chemical called "Sodium Polyacrylate". When this powdery chemical gets wet, it turns into a gel that can, stick to a babies privates causing an allergic reaction, severe skin irritation, was banned from tampons because it linked to toxic shock syndrome (a rare illness caused by infection and bacteria which can be fatal), can kill children with less than 5g of ingestion! This dosen't even scratch the surface of the chemicals in it, and if you want to find out more head to smallfootprintfamily.com , they have a good article on all the bad things about nappies.
Disposable diapers are made of plastic, but do you know what isn't? A piece of cloth and a pin. Not only is it cheaper, but it's re-usable and has no nasty chemicals.
Thank you for reading
If everyone, and the government cracks down on plastic use of examples in this text, and other un-needed plastic products, the world, Or at least Australia, could half their plastic consumption. This would also save oil and lessen the price of petrol.
Sources used in text: Now this, the science journal, Wikipedia, inhabitant.com, cleanup.org.au, worldometers,huffingtonpost, smallfootprintfamily , YouTube