Do know, that we are all trouble makers and we can not say "Let's not worry" because time is running out and we need to act before we reach a point of no return when it is impossible to turn the ship around. But we are strongly saying that "Let's worry together and let's really do something about it". Creating an example about us, individuals and our consuming habits, which may have become invisible because it has become so regular to us.
Please meet Daniella, an average good-working citizen from Europe. In the EU, on average 31kg of plastic packaging waste is produced per person in a year. Which means that Daniella threw away around 5000 pieces of plastic in one year! Most of the packaging is single-use and is there for food preserving.
Sources: Webb, D. and Schneider, J., 2018. Everyday Plastic: what we throw away and where it goes.
Eurostat, 2018, How much plastic packaging waste do you produce?
EU publications, Directorate-General for Environment (European Commission), 2018, Changing the way we use plastics
The hard truth is that even if majority of people that are aware of the issue stop using these plastics (which is near impossible in the developed world since plastic packages are ingrained in everything) it would still get produced. So the change has to come from top down. We, the people have to set an example and demand a change!
Now to make the point visual you can start scrolling (highly recommend to get to the end of this page):
... keep on scrolling as this is just
25-days worth of average plastic packaging consumption for ONE person ...
100 days of plastic packaging consumption.. getting crazy?
Yep, we are in the middle of the year and it is going on and on and on..
Here we are, around 5000 pieces of plastic packaging WASTE later.
This is the average.
Where should we start? To put it bluntly, there is no time left to play the blame game. We need to act and act fast. By helping the legislators and politicians with finding sustainable solutions and at the same time putting pressure on them that they would actually do something. So, what about the politics and government? It is clear to us that there are so many layers and the whole chain should be looked over and in order to become sustainable and manageable. The key here is circular economy, EPR, redesign the plastic packaging in general, educate more and we should start seeing the waste as our resource, not just an enemy which can easily be burned or buried. It is not a long-term solution for the earth.
Over the last 150 years, the industrial revolution has been dominated by a linear model of production and consumption in which goods are manufactured from raw materials, sold, used and then discarded through landfilling or incinerated as waste. Through breakthrough technological advances, the industrial revolution has increased the productivity of the economy and has brought unprecedented prosperity to our society. In order to grow, such economic system has provided incentives to increase sales and to simulate economies of scale, which has led to an ever-increasing consumption of goods and services. However, the underlying assumptions of the linear model are not true in the current global context and several key trends are threatening its sustainability, creating the need for an alternative economic model. (Wautelet, Thibaut. (2018). Exploring the role of independent retailers in the circular economy: a case study approach.)