Cutting it out of our lives every day will have a dramatic effect on our environment
With regular frequency, we are reminded of the dangers posed to our environment by plastic. Whether it be through animals consuming discarded plastics, plastics broken down and reaching every corner of the sea-floor, floating islands of plastic fouling our oceans, or plastics ubiquitous in almost everything we do or buy, there is a very clear and present threat posed by these materials in whatever form they inevitably take.
We are reminded through very regular public service campaigns, announcements, programmes and initiatives of how we all need to reduce our reliance and use of plastic-based products, but the reality is that because they are seemingly everywhere, just how to stop or thwart their consumption remains a not so insignificant challenge. Now, grocery and food stores across the UAE have embraced the challenge of going plastic-free and are offering shoppers the opportunity of buying goods and making them conscious of plastics’ presence by curtailing carrier bags or charging for their use. It’s an initiative that pays off for the environment, with only a small fraction of shoppers following through on purchasing plastic bags.
It’s worth remembering that plastic bags are only used for an average of 25 minutes, yet most take between 100 and 500 years to break down in landfill sites. They can be reused repeatedly if we put thought into our shopping trips.
But stopping plastic only for a day makes but a token dent in the overall issue of plastic. If we are to be truly serious — and given the amount of plastics in the environment, it is imperative we should — then we must take the next step: Cutting it out every day as much as possible.