I've come to see a lot of stainless or bamboo straws recently a little while after worldwide marine pollution by waste plastic straws got into the media. In a way this news attract interest of waste plastics from us and helps us directly address the reality happening on our earth. Also various food services have followed this trend. Unfortunately , however shifting the material of straws isn't the solution of this problem because the waste plastic rate occupied by plastic straws is less than 0.1% according to the national geographic report, which is shocking figure.
Some heartbreaking videos widely shared on SNS leads us to focus only on straws. Plastic straws might be relatively easier to initiate marine pollution problems, but it actually is the time for all of us to review the use itself of plastic, furthermore all these throwaway society.
We have been keeping our eyes shut to the reality
Exporting waste plastics to China or other developing countries in Southeast Asia turned our eyes away to this reality by disappearing those stuffs from right in front of us and also becomes unaware of the consumer's responsibilities without taking these issues as the domestic matters. Even though we exported them for the purpose of recycling, could we trace how much they can be recycled and became what kind of materials after that? I think the same applies to the individual. Once you throw them in a trash bin and get rid of those in front of you, forget everything and keep our eyes shut to the fundamental problems just like nothing happened.
Japan is one of biggest plastic consuming countries
According to UN environment programme 2018, Japan is the world second biggest plastic consuming country.
63.4% of the shoppers receive plastic shopping bags when grocery shopping.
This is not only about plastics but all the resources such as paper, fabric, aluminium and other materials we can see in our daily life. Unnecessary plastic shopping bags that are used without thinking, excess packaging that goes to a trash bin right away once opened, overly repackaging into smaller portions, plastic bottles that cannot be reused or recycled, oversized carton boxes for really small items from online shopping, blue ice that never be collected for reuse... the list goes on and on....
The trash bin filled with disposable vinyl umbrella covers catch my eye in this rainy season.
As listed on SDGs #12 "Responsible consumption & Production", both manufacturer and consumers need to take responsibilities what you make and what you have. If each of us continuously review and improve our throw-away society from a long-term perspective. From this perspective that we look after all our limited resources, it will help us care about reducing food waste and saving energy too.
Many countries in Southeast Asia are rapidly promoting "de-plastic"
The government bans the major plastic products by 2022.
They started to deliberate a bill to ban plastic straws and shopping bags in Parliament.
The prime minister necessitate a reduction in plastic waste to the domestic companies.
They start to consider banning plastic shopping bag by the end of the year. This will be carried out advanced implementation in Bali from July this year.
The major paper company has developed paper materials as a replacement for plastic, which is decomposed in soil.
The biggest rubber glove company will launch new rubber gloves which will be decomposed in a natural environment within this year.
Some companies in Japan are trying to develop the alternative materials to plastics; biomass plastic which is plant-derived materials and is expected CO2 emission reduction effect as well as the reduction of micro plastic. They made effort to promote for various packaging like disposable food containers.
This is brilliant item on a rainy day. When shake your wet umbrella inside this equipment a few times, quickly remove water droplet on your umbrella without using any electricity.
This will help reduce plastic waste like the above mentioned umbrella covers.
Reconsider a matter of course
Plastic products are very convenient and can be seen everywhere everyday. It's really hard to change what we've thought it common practice for a long time, but we need to learn and look what goes on behind the scene in a convenient world. We need to work hard to train ourselves and our children to think twice about what we consume and how we take a good care of them. Looking after the things you have, use them for a long time repairing if it's broken definitely enrich our lifestyle.
It was difficult for me to feel this way when I was young, but now I've found it and understood better with age, so I'd like to share and talk about these issues with my kids through actions in our daily lives.
Also I found that some local services to encourage us to promote 3R( reduce, reuse, recycle) in my local town. Before getting new things or throwing things in the trash bin, try to think twice;
Do I really need this? Do I use this for a long time? or is there any way to recycle or reuse?
For a sustainable, healthier society...