Before the 1950s and 60s, the majority of the products we produced and consumed were built to last. Milk bottles made of glass were returned and sterilized for re-use, restaurants offered ceramic plates and stainless-steel cutlery and the plastic bag was yet to be invented.
But since then, as technology progressed we have developed an ability to produce low-cost products en masse. This, alongside a growing culture of disposability, has resulted in mountains of waste, devastated landscapes and a culture of ‘single-use’.
Today we use around 50% more natural resources than 30 years ago and produce a whopping 2 billion tonnes of waste each year. It may not be surprising that one of the main culprits is plastic. It litters our land and chokes our oceans, and can be found in quite literally every corner (and stomach) on this planet, even on Antarctica. Plastic is produced using fossil fuels and is responsible for 5% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Its toxic nature causes harm to millions of living creatures, including humans. We’ve all seen the devastating images of entangled turtles and suffocated seabirds.
Whilst the plastics industry would like consumers to think that many plastic products are recyclable, less than 10% of all the plastics produced since the 1950s has actually been recycled with the rest incinerated, dumped in landfills, or left to pollute the environment. . .
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