The plastic crisis
‘Our blue planet is facing one of the biggest threats in human history. Trillions of pieces of plastic are choking the very lifeblood of our earth’ - Drowning in Plastic, BBC
Scary fact: Almost every piece of plastic ever made, still exists today.
According to a government report on kerbside recycling, only 12% of the 3m tonnes of plastic waste produced in Australia is recycled. (Source: The Guardian, Oct 18) Worldwide, only 5% to 9% is being recycled effectively. (Source: Waste360.com)
Part of the plastic problem is that it’s really hard to recycle- different kinds of plastics have different melting points (their melting points are determined by the varying manufacturing process used to make them), which means that all the various types of plastics would have to be separated and recycled separately. For example, the plastic your supermarket mushrooms come packaged in is different from the plastic your tomatoes come in; you can tell the difference by how easy/hard it is to crinkle the plastic.
Furthermore, the plastic actually sorted for recycling needs a buyer to want to recycle it into something new, which doesn't always happen.
According to 60 Minutes, about 2 years ago China closed its doors to Australia’s plastic waste. Since then, most of Australia’s recyclable plastic rubbish ends up being stockpiled in warehouses or shipped to south east Asia to be illegally burned.
Scientists think it would take about 450 years for plastic to degrade naturally; but we don't really know.
Sometimes it feels like we are simply surrounded by plastic, no matter how good our intentions.
It's not all doom and gloom though, there are so many ways we can reduce our plastic usage. And the more we as consumers demand non-plastic alternatives, the greater the supply will be.
Shopping at farmers markets, using keep cups, bamboo toothbrushes... every small habit changed will add up in the long run. And we here at Honua Bars are here to help you every step of the way.
Shearwater chicks on Lord Howe Island: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44579422
60 Minutes -