Before we get into the differences of plastic waste vs recyclable plastic, we want to share some facts with you:
- Australians use 10 million a straws a day, and they’re mostly non-recyclable
- Plastic waste absorbs toxins from the water around them and never bio-degrade
- Plastic waste is killing the reefs and ocean life
A Culture of Convenience
Can you name a new invention you feel you couldn’t live without? Topping many people’s lists are smart phones, the Internet, cars, and air conditioning. Though these inventions are relatively recent, it’s difficult to imagine society functioning without them.
Similarly, single-use plastic products have permeated everyday life. Society makes them hard to escape, and businesses make a huge profit off of them. So it’s little wonder we’re surround by single-use plastic products. They’re easy to use, easy to dispose of, and simpler than cleaning up dishes. In fact, some would say that we’re addicted to their convenience.
But of course, this convenient culture is taking a toll on the environment. The oceans, reefs, and even distant islands are littered with unimaginable amounts of plastic waste. Warning after warning has been sent up by marine biologists and environmentalists — but slowly, society is recognising that the power of change is in the hands of the consumer.
What You Can Do
Of course, one or two people swearing off plastics won’t change the situation. But as consciousness grows, and programs like One Million Women push for environmental reform, the pressure on single-use plastic-producing companies will mount.
Here are a few simple ways you can cut down on your plastic usage:
- Carry a reusable water bottle made of metal. In addition to eliminating plastic water bottle usage, vacuum-sealed water bottles keep water freezing cold for longer.
- Replace plastic straws with bamboo, wood, or other degradable materials. Not dumping as many straws in the ocean, or willingly switching to degradable contenders, will pressure single-use straw makers to fold or change their business plan.
- Carry your own shopping bags.
The Plastic Bag Ban
One huge event making the rounds in Australia is the ban on single use shopping bags. The push-back from retailers and consumers speaks to society’s single-use plastic addiction.
Though they may be inconvenient to adapt to, bans like these have a strongly positive effect on the surrounding beaches. For example, California began enforcing a statewide plastic bag ban in November 2016. A single year later, beach clean-up records demonstrated that there was a 70% drop in plastic bag litter on California’s beaches. Overall, total plastic litter fell by 8.8%.
If retailers agree to act on bans, similar positive effects could be experienced in Australia.
B&C and Recyclable Plastic
Banning some single-use plastics is good. We can’t argue against that. However, that doesn’t mean plastic on its own is “the villain.” It’s still a strong, durable, effective and flexible material that, when used correctly, can help shape society for the better. It can be found in life-saving medical products, and it can also make a difference in the state of the environment right now.
For example: what should we do about all the plastic currently found in our waterways?
Businesses like B&C Plastics are stepping up not just to reduce overall plastic waste — but to make use of all the waste plastic that currently exists. Using recyclable plastic for long-term products like injection moulds allows us to get rid of existing plastic litter, to avoid using other natural resources while we do so, and to help clean up the environment.
Here are some of the other ways B&C works towards sustainable business practices:
- Using recycled polymers
- Energy efficient machines
- Recycle the bulk of our waste materials
- Embracing new technologies
- Increasing the efficiency of our manufacture processes
We also enjoy helping ecologically-minded businesses, like Five Oceans, reach their goals by making use of single-use plastic waste to create an environmentally-friendly product.
Fighting against single use plastic pollution is an uphill journey. But as more businesses like B&C Plastics join the fray, the fight will get easier. Together, we can make a difference for Australia’s coastlines, oceans, and reefs.