Zero waste living, though it helps our guilty conscience, is not a solution to the serious plastic waste problem in the world. Individuals doing their best, being conscious of their waste and trying to live a more sustainable life will never solve this global issue. While we can all pull our weight and have a positive change, the problem has to be resolved further up the chain. The only solution to getting rid of plastic is to stop producing it!
Big Supermarkets need to demand that producers use plastic-free packaging, which wouldn't even be so complicated seeing as there's plenty to choose from. Many of the products in the supermarket being wrapped in plastic don't even need to be wrapped in plastic (basically all fruits and vegetables). Save money, lose the packaging. Follow the example of Supermarkets, which are already embracing plastic free, such as Budgens. How many animals do we have to kill,
how many places do we have to see flooded by plastic waste before we do something?!
There's not even that much to say about the topic, because it's been discussed for so long. We talk and talk and talk, but no action ever follows. Companies like RecyclePoints and 4Ocean are swimming against the current of 8 million tons of plastic being dumped in the ocean every year, while only 18% of is recycled. Do we want to live in a world where there's more plastic than fish, or not? More and more people and turning vegan and going zero waste, because they really care about the environment. In order to make an actual change, however, we need to demand change from big corporations, who actually have a massive impact on the environment. Those 400 bottles of water you don't throw away per year won't stop companies from producing millions of them in the same amount of time.
Pollution makes young generations feel guilty and anxious every single day, while large companies continue to produce tons of plastic without batting an eye. We are being guilt tripped into buying expensive plastic-free products to prove that we care for the environment. We're parading our bamboo toothbrushes and reusable water bottles, signing petitions and supporting startups. However, by living a more sustainable life, we forget about the millions of people who can't afford that, and those who are therefore buried under the plastic rubbish. No matter how sustainable you live, your life will never be plastic free, because it's all around you. In your neighbour's house, at the local supermarket, at school, at work, plastic will always be there, even when you're long gone. A sustainable life is a hoax. Because as long as plastic-free products remain more expensive and less accessible and big supermarkets (on which students like me largely rely on) continue using plastic excessively, we are going to be living in our own shit.
So can we please, just ban plastic!