Whilst there have been gradual changes to the availability single-use plastics, up until now, it’s all felt like a drop in the ocean. Yet, in October 2018, the European Parliament congregated to impose a complete ban on a wide-variety of single-use plastics. The ultimate aim is to prevent the excessive pollution of the ocean. We’ve all seen the footage of animals with stomachs full of plastic or encased in plastic, and it’s easy to wonder how the ocean ended up in such a terrible state of affairs. It is by the public’s persistence that dramatic change needs to happen now after David Attenborough’s BBC Blue Planet series aired. David Attenborough’s work has never just been about showcasing the beauty of the natural world. There has always been a strong focus on how our lifestyles are hindering and driving other species to extinction. With such minimal changes to our daily lives, we can all work together to make the environment more hospitable for both land-dwelling and sea-dwelling creatures. You can watch a clip of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet here.
As a consumerist society, we’ve grown to love and come to think that we need single-use plastics, however, this isn’t the case when there are so many alternatives now on the market. They may be a little more expensive for the time being, yet the ultimate price is being paid by our wildlife. We’ve already seen a drastic reduction of the amount of fish in the ocean. Yet, it was predicted that if drastic measures aren’t taken there will be more plastic in the ocean that there are fish by 2050. And that’s without mentioning the potential hazards of the toxicity of the plastic.
Which Single-Use Plastics Are Now Banned Under European Parliament?
Whilst only some of the single-use plastics which are currently used commonly in Europe was included in the blanket ban there are plenty more items that the proposal calls for a reduction. This included items such as plastic cups and food containers such as you would receive from the supermarket or a fast food restaurant.
However, the list of banned single-use plastic items now includes:
●Plastic cutlery and plates
What are the Alternatives?
A lot of single-use items which were previously made from plastic can easily be placed by different materials. Pubs, bars, and restaurants have all been quick to replace their straws with paper straws. Whilst paper straws may not be as pleasant to drink from as plastic straws, their biodegradable properties ensure that we aren’t contributing to the oceanic plastic problem for the convenience of using a straw for a few minutes at a time. If you’re not a fan of the paper straws, you can also invest in your own reusable metal straws, which can easily be recycled if need be.
How Far Can Legislation Take Us?
With a little research, you’ll soon see that for every single-use plastic, there is a more environmentally friendly alternative. If you’d like more information on how you can make a real difference to your consumption and discarding of plastic, why not check out these 26 top tips on how to reduce the amount of plastic in your home? As you’ll soon see, the alternatives may be slightly more expensive than what you’d expect from single-use plastic items, yet, is there any better investment than the environment? Whilst governments around the world are all doing their bit in ensuring that there are less plastics available to purchase, we must also take a proactive role in the limitation of plastic in our environment. Whilst toothbrushes, lighters, and other common household items are not yet featured on the banned list, it’s easy to find alternatives to the common plastic variations we see every day.
If you take a look around wherever you are right now, unless you’re sitting in a remote woodland far away from civilisation, you’re going to see plastic around you. Start to think of ways in which this could be reduced. That’s not to say ridding your home of the plastic which is already in use is of any benefit to the planet. Yet, when it comes to disposing of the plastic already in your possession it is imperative that you recycle even the smallest parts of plastic whenever possible. As it is these small pieces of plastic which may ultimately cause the greatest devastation to wildlife.
Of course, the key to solving the crisis which we have seen with plastic in recent years will never be to fully eradicate plastic from the planet. It would be infeasible and impossible. Instead, we must focus on regulatory measures and recognised bodies whose primary job is to oversee (or should that be oversea?) how plastic is recycled and come up with new ways to prevent the plastic from ending up in our oceans. With effective regulation measures in place, we can still enjoy our modern-day commodities. Regulation has always served as a way to ensure responsibility. If you take for example gambling. Just like plastic, gambling doesn’t have the best reputation. Yet, under measures, such as those imposed on online slot machine websites such as Egypt Slots those who enjoy gambling can do so knowing that they are protected by the regulations put in place to ensure that they access a safe and fair website. Egypt Slots have gone above and beyond to ensure that all of the information required for a player to make an informed decision about their gaming is fully visible. Players will get a clear and accurate view of the price of the stakes alongside information such as the Return to Player rate.
Social change is an inevitable part of a progressive society. It’s easy to feel scorned by the fact that items of such convenience have been taken away by the new European laws. Yet, when you look at the bigger picture, to move forward and limit the environmental impact of our modern ways of living, it’s more than worth embracing the change.