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There are several attempts in the world to discourage the use of single-use plastics, however, the change can also come from our actions
It was last December 19 that member states of the European Union finally agreed to ban some plastic waste that constitutes up to 70% of the garbage that is found on European coasts. For this purpose, and after several negotiations, it was decided to prohibit, starting in 2021, plastic swabs for ear cleaning, disposable plates and cutlery, straws, plastic containers used to pack food or drinks, bags and even fishing nets.
Leer en español: Dile sí al agua de la llave y otros 7 tips para evitar el plástico
However, before the question related to plastic bottles, the EU established the application of mandatory recycling rates. These will go up year after year and it is intended that by 2029, 90% of the bottles will be recycled and disposed of in a friendly way with the environment.
The good news is that the EU has not been the only one to take action. According to Semana Sostenible, in January 1 of this year, eight countries of the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, and Trinidad and Tobago banned the importation of these products and their use. Plastics and polystyrene foam containers "form seven of the ten main elements discarded on the coasts," according to a report by the Jamaican government, quoted by the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina.
That statement is not far from reality, Green Peace Spain, corroborates this when it says that the final destination of these plastics is in aquatic ecosystems because "every year the seas and oceans are receptors of up to 12 million tons of trash".
Similarly, the NGO ensures that by 2020 such production will increase to 500 million tons, which "makes plastic the number one enemy of seas and oceans."
In contrast, and although its use is associated with patterns of consumer society, Karl Heinz Florenz, environmental expert for Christian Democrats in the European Parliament, said in Brussels that Europeans will learn to fight in a different way the situation of the plastic because "it's not about demonizing plastic, but about using alternatives, avoiding the superfluous and promoting a debate about its use".
We must face it
Although plastic has flooded our environment because it is found in packaging, textiles, and even construction materials, there are ways to gradually take it out of our daily lives. Here we give you 7 tips.
1. No more plastic bags
The era of the plastic bag has remained in the past. If you are one of those who keep coming to the market to buy it, you have to realize you are spending more money, and that bag that you take home will probably take 150 years later to be degraded. Try to use cloth bags and do not leave it at home.
2. No more disposable products
Do you have a party organized at home and do not want to use the dishes? While the most obvious solution would be to use disposable cutlery and dishes, keep in mind that today there are several alternatives such as biodegradable cardboard pulp dishes. Do not forget that cutlery can be replaced with edible or wooden cutlery, which is made with birch or bamboo.
3. Buying in bulk
If you are one of those who buy rice and beans in bags of one pound, remember that you can also do it in bulk. Some supermarkets have an area where it is possible to buy in this way and in the market places it is also possible to do so.
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4. Say yes to tap water
If your city enjoys good water quality, take advantage of it. Avoid ordering bottled water in restaurants and ask for a glass of tap water, it's free and you will not be using plastic bottles. You can also avoid buying bottles of water in the street if you load a thermos every day.
5. That it be returnable
Carrying a thermos of water is easy, but on hot days, a soda can be amazing. Stop at the nearest store and order it, but try that the container is returnable or glass, instead of one of plastic or brik.
6. The Zippo
Smoking is never going to be good, but if you are a smoker, propose to put aside the 50-cent lighters and buy a metal refillable lighter, at least they look better and are not disposable.
7. Say no to straws
If you find yourself in a restaurant, ask the waiter for a drink without a straw, since it is most likely that they provide you with plastic or a metallic one, which is antigenic. Get used to drink from the glass.
8. Eat your icecream in a cone
If you are a lover of ice cream, try that every time you order it, it comes in cone, thus avoiding the indiscriminate use of disposable cups and spoon.
LatinAmerican Post | María Alejandra Gómez
Translated from "Dile sí al agua de la llave y otros 7 tips para evitar el plástico"