We’ve been using plastic since 1862 and it has played a massive role in our world. These days the word “plastic” is more often brought up as a bad thing than anything else, and that is understandable given the obvious environmental toll it has had on our planet.
And while this toll has caused many of us to go plastic-free, this massive shift in the discussion makes it seem as if we have forgotten the positive things that plastic has done for us. Quite possibly the most notable being its use in the medical field.
The shocking truth about plastic… it can be pretty great
With the introduction of plastics into the medical field, we’ve been able to reduce the spread of contaminations in hospitals, improve prosthetics and devices, and even protect our kids with child-proof caps for prescriptions; and that’s just to name a few. Plastic has been a very helpful tool when used to protect and heal us.
It has also been instrumental in the advancement of technology and our modern-day way of living. Plastic is used in the construction and manufacturing of permanent structures, including embedding into portions of our homes and buildings that help preserve ongoing energy use by containing the home more efficiently.
Because let’s face it, the truth about plastic is that it is cheap, it is durable, it is lightweight, and it is easy to mould into whatever we see fit making it incredibly versatile.
How plastic harms us
The problem is that for a long time now plastic has been overused, being implemented into items not necessary and creating an environmental disaster. It is in nearly everything around us; all we have to do is open our eyes and look straight to see something made of (or at least with) plastic.
I am looking straight ahead and I see my laptop, DVDs, a television, speakers, board games, and curtains, all of which have some component of plastic in them.
Try stopping for just a moment right now and look around you. See if you can count all of the items you can see that are made with plastic; the number may shock you. I counted 28, and I am sure that I am missing items that don’t look like plastic but, in reality, are.
But what is the worst use of plastic?
Well, that’s a pretty easy one… single-use plastic items such as bottles, straws, bags, and retail packaging are a drain on production resources to make, and they fairly quickly get tossed in the bin without a second thought, as if they just disintegrate into the air. Out of sight, out of mind.
So let’s do some simple maths here; for the seven days a product spends on the supermarket store shelf, plus the two days in your cabinet, this one-time-use plastic packaging ends up spending as many as 1,000 years in the landfill.
One. Thousand. Years.
Let that sink in for a moment. Because for a while, we were able to bank on the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thought process, but now we are starting to see the detriment that has caused, and we are beginning to realise that this whole “it’s not my problem” thought process has to change.
It is clear in situations like these that plastic is causing far more harm than it is good. And any value that plastic has to offer is null and void when it comes to throw-away items like these, making it clear what our responsibility should be: reduce plastic use, whenever possible.
Listen, we know that plastic has a permanent place in this world, and we’re not trying to eliminate it; that would not be realistic. We are, however, in full support of limiting the use of plastics to only where necessary. To bring the revolution of plastic back down to the appropriate scale, where it can go back to being more beneficial to us than it is harmful.
Here at PULSÍTOS we wanted to do something about the plastic problem, and so we made a vow to produce packaging of our fava bean snacks without plastic. So our healthy snacks are wrapped in plastic-free packaging that is made from recyclable and compostable paper while remaining durable enough to keep your treats fresh.
The power is in your hands
We know that plastic is one of the most polarising discussion topics of our time, and rightfully so. The cost-to-benefit ratio tends to vary significantly depending on the specific use.
So let’s start working toward a world where single-use plastic is only utilised when truly necessary; let’s eliminate plastic bags used for snacks, drinks, and other disposable items.
Let’s improve our game and choose to buy the plastic-free alternatives that are popping up all around us. We are the consumers, and we have far more power than we may realise day-to-day.
If we spend our money on eco-friendly products, the market will listen, and more and more companies will shift.
We would love to encourage everyone to do even more! Every step we take here is a step in the right direction, so let’s skip (not walk) and get the plastic-free movement flying forward with more momentum than ever before.
You can get inspiration almost anywhere, including by joining the many groups on social media that offer support, tips, and ideas on how to go (and stay) plastic-free in the modern world. But here are just a couple of really simple changes you can make right now to reduce your plastic consumption:
- Participate in events like “Plastic Free July” or even “One Plastic Free Day” on June 5th. Make your voice heard on social media, and hashtag your photos to spread them far and wide.
- Choose to bring your own drinks using reusable bottles instead of buying single-use plastic beverages. The same goes for bringing your own reusable straws and cutlery.
- Choose plastic-free snacks, like the delicious collection of socially responsible snacks offered here at PULSÍTOS.
We’re all living here together, so let’s all work together to keep our planet protected, thriving, and beautiful.