Plastic Alternatives – Are they making a difference?
A trip to the grocery store gives you a chance to be eco-friendly and save a little bit of money with reusable bags. Where companies in the past once handed out stress balls or Bic Click’s to potential customers or new employees, they’re now handing out reusable straws. Legislative efforts and education campaigns are making the problem of plastic more universally known and more unilaterally confronted.
Single use plastics are a problem.
Grocery bags, plastic silverware, straws, and food containers are everywhere. Plastic pollution varies from water bottles in the ditch and plastic bags on beaches to microscopic particles floating in the ocean and lodged in the stomachs of sea life.
There aren’t many people who carry a reusable straw with them and choose to use it instead of a plastic, single-use one. The number of plastic grocery bags used at a single supermarket on a single day is barely impacted at all by the eco-conscious family of 4 who bring their own hemp grocery sacks. And while these anecdotal reflections don’t necessarily mean we should abandon our efforts, we also need to consider broader efforts to address the plastic pollution crisis.
The question is still worth asking…
Are alternatives to single-use plastics really moving the needle?
Research is continually being done to truly capture the impact of plastic on our world. Cost and convenience seem to be more important than care and conservation, as an ever-growing garbage patch continues to take up more than 615,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean. We’ve all seen images of plastic in the stomaches of wildlife or around the necks of ducks. We’ve seen research and heard TED Talks. Despite the growing problem and the vast amount of research, single-use plastics are still used in excess and single-use plastic alternatives are still relatively a non-factor in the fight.
So what is the way forward?
At Filtrol, we believe wholeheartedly is that the way forward is to stay the course. We know that the work we’re doing is worth the effort. We know that the problem of plastic isn’t going away and the impacts of it aren’t either. And we know that we all have a part to play.
While it may seem overwhelming or like an uphill climb, we can’t ignore the massive responsibility on our shoulders to protect our environment for future generations. We need to continue to address the big issues – the single use plastics, the bags in streets and straws at the restaurants. We need to to continue to address the small issues – the Microplastics being flushed into your wastewater with every load of laundry. We need to continue to partner with organizations and manufacturing companies who are paying attention to these issues and doing their part. We need to continue to shed light on the problem and give hope for the way forward.
And at Filtrol, we’re committed to all of this…no matter how big (and how small) the fight is.