Its undeniable that waste generated from food packaging is impacting our environment. Most of the plastic produced in the world comes from disposable food packaging taking the form of cups, lunch boxes, bags, wraps, containers, and disposable cutlery. Sadly, an increasing number of people are using plastic packaging for the sake of convenience. If present trends continue, by 2050, there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic produced per year in the world. Much of this plastic will end up in landfills and oceans just like it does today. Even today, a whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled.
One may think why a fisherman dumping a plastic lunch box in the Straits of Malacca should bother a guy living in Borneo Island. However, the disposable culture that began in the west has resulted in a worldwide food packaging waste problem. The fish and other sea animals consume this plastic which is highly likely to end up on your plate through the food chain. That’s why everyone needs to reduce food packaging waste, especially plastics, to keep our planet and ourselves healthy.
Saying No to Plastic Bags
It may sound obvious, but the excessive use of disposable plastic bags has become a real threat to the environment. We often see people accepting plastic bags that are used only once. According to the Surfrider Foundation, Europeans go through round 87 billion single-use plastic bags every year. 20 minutes is the average usage time for a plastic bag. However, it takes 400 years to decompose in nature. Often, littering of polyethylene bags clog drains in the rainy season, pollutes the soil, and causes animals to eat those and get choked to death.
The most convenient alternative to this problem is BYOB which means “Bring Your Own Bag” or alternatively, bring your own BDTC. You can carry a customized BDTC imprinted with your own name before stepping out hunting for food. They are easy to use, last longer, and are eco-friendly.
Eat Plastic Free Lunch
If you carry home-cooked lunch to the office every day, make sure to pack it in your BDTC and bring along with reusable cutlery. If you order a takeaway every day, you are probably using a lot of plastic cutlery. For an average lunch, you are likely to use at least a couple of plates, two sets of fork, knives, and spoons. Every year 6 million tons of disposable plastics such as spoons, forks, plates, and cups are discarded most of which ends up in our oceans.
But if you were to switch to metal cutlery or silverware, you will be helping to bring down this Use and Throw culture. Start keeping a set of reusable cutlery in your desk drawer.
Surfrider Foundation: https://www.surfrider.org/initiatives/plastic-pollution