Image credit: Nick Fewings - Unsplash
Singapore is known as a garden city with many sustainable and green developments. Our all-time favourite Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay, are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are environmentally sustainable as well. Even our HDB flats are created in a way where there will be a 10% reduction in annual energy consumption. Despite the many sustainable and green developments, that does not mean that we are immune to environmental issues such as waster, plastic and air pollution. To tackle these environmental issues, these developments do not suffice. It requires our collective effort to make environmentally friendly decisions.
On 5th June, people all around the world celebrate World Environment Day to encourage and raise awareness of actions that we can take to protect our environment. This year, the theme of World Environment Day is #GenerationRestoration. It focuses on encouraging people to take the first step to change the future of the world that we live in. In lieu of World Environment Day, we want to share some tips on practices that you can integrate in your everyday life to reduce plastic wastage. But first, let’s look at the impact of plastic wastage, and how it affects us!
Plastic Waste Facts
Here are some interesting facts about plastic pollution, and how it impacts us and the environment.
100 million marine animals die each year due to plastic pollution
As a result of plastic pollution, 100 million marine animals die each year. Out of these 100 million marine animals, about 1,000,000 marine mammals die every year. Many marine wildlife mistake plastic wastes for prey, which ultimately leads to deaths due to the inability to swim properly or due to internal injuries. This huge amount of deaths would have decreased if businesses and individuals reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.
9% of plastics are being recycled
Out of the 380 million tonnes of plastics, only 9% of plastics are recycled. Those plastics that were not recycled end up in landfills or oceans. Plastics in landfills are often incinerated after a period of time. But did you know that burning plastics releases harmful chemicals that could lead to environmental issues like climate change and global warming?
Toxins from plastics could affect our health
The toxins released from plastics in the ocean are gradually entering our food chain. Consuming contaminated seafood could affect our health. If we can protect our oceans from plastic pollution, it would decrease the amount of toxins released to the ocean.
Some plastics can take more than 400 years to degrade
Some plastics are created to be durable, and it can take more than 400 years to break down. Which means that it will probably take about 12 generations to decompose. Can you imagine that a plastic box that your grandparent’s grandparent threw away is still somewhere in the sea and has yet to decompose?
What Can You Do to Reduce Plastic Wastes?
After reading some of the above facts, don’t you find some of those facts alarming? So what can you do to reduce plastic wastes in the landfills and oceans?
As individuals, your actions can bring about huge change! In Singapore alone, it is estimated that each person takes about an average of 146 plastic bags each year. If everyone in Singapore was to use only recyclable bags instead of plastic bags, we will be able to save a total of 820 million plastic bags! Here are some ways on how you can reduce plastic wastes:
- Use reusable straws instead of disposable straws
- Use reusable cloth bags instead of plastic bags when you are shopping
- Instead of buying coffee with a disposable cup, use a reusable mug
- Opt to use Beeswax wraps instead of plastic cling film to protect your food
- Try not to buy bottled water, bring your water bottle with you
- Bring your own containers when purchasing takeout
- Purchase second hand items such as toys, clothes and furnitures
However, individuals are not the only ones who can help in reducing plastics, businesses as well! If you’re a business owner, we urge you to relook your business process and your products, consider what can be improved on to make your products a little more sustainable. While you might not be able to eliminate the use of plastics completely, you can come up with innovative solutions to reduce the use of plastics. Your actions can go a long way in protecting the world we live in.
At SimplyGood, we strive to minimise the use of plastics in our products. We are committed to refining our processes and products to make it a little more sustainable. Our cleaning tablets use 90% less plastic as compared to your traditional cleaning products. As for our sanitisers, instead of buying small bottles after each time, our sanitisers come in different sizes (50ml, 500ml, 1L and 5L). Once you are done, you can easily refill your existing sanitiser container and save the amount of plastic that you are using!
We urge individuals and businesses to join us in taking a step towards protecting the world we save in. Little bit of actions such as reducing and reusing plastics goes a long way in preventing plastic pollution. You are doing this not just for yourself, but for your future generation as well. Start now, not tomorrow! Join us in being part of this years movement, #GenerationRestoration.