To those that know me, you are aware of significant achievements toward my dream of contributing to the plastic crisis affecting our beloved planet.
To those that are following my journey, my silence is the symptom of me devoting my whole self to succeed in this objective.
Thus, many progresses have been made in the direction of setting up my start up in partnership with great counterparts, supporting me through this journey (http://www.polarquest2018.org/solutions/biostraw4planet/).
Advocacy and tangible solutions to replace single use plastic is the vision of my social business model working with NGOs at a local level.
As you may know from previous posts, the idea takes its root from my travel experiences, which have been/are an inspiration and a drive for change.
I can’t wait to tell you all about it in details, featuring the first product in my portfolio, as soon as I am able to disclose next steps.
A plastic straw of 8gr, is an item used for few seconds and yet, made of a material destined to last forever.
The challenge lies in its appealing sides against its deficient ones:
- It makes our favourite beverage more enjoyable, be it a smoothie or a soft drink, an energy drink or a cold coffee or fresh coconut water directly from the tree! Kids just love it.
- It reduces the exposure to sugary and carbonated drinks in the mouth, preventing acid erosion of the teeth enamel.
- It is a necessity for those who had a stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS) or other life changing physical issues.
- It contains polypropylene and BPA (Bisphenol A), which can leak chemicals into the liquid. Colorants, plasticizers, antioxidants and UV filters are added. These chemicals are said to cause obesity, on-set puberty, and even cancer. Some manufacturers now take out BPA of their products.
- It is not reusable. Washing it can leave behind bacteria and germs.
- It encourages the current “throw away” mindset.
CLEAN UP: GENEVA LAKE
In this post, let me tell you about my clean up experience last weekend in Geneva, Switzerland.
The weather was horrible, it was cold and raining and yet, more than 100 people turned up to the event organised at Baby Plage.
At first, when I started walking around on the beach looking for littering, I could not find much trash lying around.
Then I started to look more carefully and the discovery was daunting: the famous microplastics mentioned every time in the news and the scientific reports was ‘invisibly’ everywhere in front of my eyes.
To be clear, plastic has been essential to global economic growth for decades.
Some have even touted plastic as part of the solution to climate change, arguing, incorrectly, that it has a smaller carbon footprint than other materials. On the contrary, plastic releases significant greenhouse gases, like methane and ethylene, as it decomposes in the land and marine environments.
In fact, 99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas. And plastic is harmful to our bodies at every stage of its life cycle, from its extraction as a fossil fuel to its widespread use as a packaging for food, and through the waste-management process (which includes landfills, recycling centres, and incinerators).
One way or another, almost every organism on the planet is affected by the production, use, or disposal of plastic, the toxic effects of which linger and accumulate endlessly in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil under our feet.
Plastic production harms the immune and reproductive systems, the liver and kidneys, and even causes cancer; as we move through the lifecycle of plastic products, the threats to reproductive systems and from cancer continue, with added harm to neurological development and other systems.
Making matters worse, plastic production is increasing, and will continue to do so. The US plastics industry alone plans to boost production by 30% in the next few years.
Our objective has to be preventing both growth in plastics pollution and harm to human health, and at all phases of the production cycle.
220 l glass bottles (100% recycled), 290 l of various cans and scrap metal, 1 fork, 2 chains, dozens of capsules (100% recycled), 170 l of PET bottles (100% recycled), 330 l of various plastics including 150 l related to food consumption e.g. 36 plastic straws, 22 cups, all kinds of packaging, 3 boat barbatages, 1 fishing net, three lighters, 3 batteries, 5 helium cartridges, 4500 cigarette butts!!!!! ♥️ Congrats to all ♥️
I strongly suggest everybody to get involved in one of the clean ups organised around the globe, at least once!!!!! My takeaway from this experience was the following:
I was looking for littering during the clean up, and Switzerland is quite a clean country by reputation; and yet, looking for trash, I was surprised to spot colourful pieces everywhere on the beach, mixing with stones and sand.
As I was picking them up, I started realising that all those colourful different shapes were nothing but plastic broken up in pieces.
The growth of plastic production has far outstripped the ability of waste management to keep up: that’s why we are under assault. When you hear it, you don’t realise it until you see with your eyes.
There are as many as 51 trillion microplastic particles in the seas — that’s 500 times more than stars in our galaxy.
“There’s definitely no single solution,” and to get the microplastics problem under control, the world has to take many steps. In the short term we need to significantly curtail unnecessary single-use plastic items such as water bottles, plastic shopping bags, straws and utensils; in parallel, if we can’t do without, we must opt for alternative materials that won’t harm the environment. In the medium term governments need to strengthen garbage collection and recycling systems to prevent waste from leaking into the environment between the garbage track and the landfill, and to improve recycling rates. In the long run scientists need to devise ways to break plastic down into its most basic units, which can be rebuilt into new plastics or other materials.