Rethinking plastic

Posted by

Taylor Gathercole

23/07/2019

I’ve had many conversations surrounding plastics and as much as I respect the strong passion for banning plastic, I don’t think it’s the best solution. Instead of banning plastic, we need to rethink how and when we use it, and perhaps learn to value it more.

When you hear facts like there is enough plastic debris in the world to cover Argentina, we begin to wonder why we use at all. It’s a super durable product which is an asset as well its biggest flaw.

Plastic plays a vital role in our lives, it allows our medicine to be affordable and accessible and our cars to be more efficient. It’s very unlikely we’ll rid the world of plastic, so we need to use it more thoughtfully, ASAP.

And we need to remember, we already have a lot of plastic. We need to make use of it.

Using post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR) makes all the sense in the world. It is cost-effective, available, and creates a greater positive impact than other choices of plastic (obviously).

Take this, for example, The carbon footprint of manufacturing 100% PCR plastic, like a water bottle, is 60% lower than virgin PET.[1] This includes all the energy to collect, recycle and manufacture the plastic.

As well as making use of PCR plastic, we need to limit the flow of unnecessary plastic usage, such as single-use plastic.

The question is, how can we make plastic guiltless? If at all. James Honeyborne, executive producer of Blue Planet II has seen first hand the issue of plastic pollution up close, he believes we need to completely rethink plastic, because “Plastic, in many ways, is a miracle substance” and “perhaps we need to change our mindset about how precious plastic is.”

At the moment plastic is traceable in all 4 corners, and it is becoming a demon in the eyes of consumers. Ideally where possible brands should eliminate its use, or strive for a recycled alternative. Rethinking plastic as a miracle, precious resource, rather than as disposable could help us use it more mindfully.

What do you think?

[1] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/postconsumer-recycled-pla_b_853985