As I introduced last post, I've gone zero waste. It means I do my very best to avoid unnecessary packaging - catch up on that here.
Why have I gone 'zero waste'? Well it's pretty simple:
1. Because modern lifestyles produce an extreme amount of waste
and this waste is polluting our environment and negatively impacting on the lives of everything on it - birds, fish... even us.
2. Because recycling isn't the answer.
There's a particular issue with plastics recycling. PET plastics in particular - the kind of plastic that water, milk and juice bottles are made of - can't actually be re-cycled, rather it is down-cycled. By that I mean that it's never recycled into a product of equal quality. That plastic soft drink bottle can never be another drink bottle again.
Instead, much of the PET bottles we place in our kerbside recycling bins are sent overseas (mostly China and Vietnam) for processing into flakes that are then used to manufacture items such as wood-like plastic decking, park benches and other such 'recycled plastic' products.
You don't think that's a problem?
The next layer of the story is this: the processing of our old plastic bottle waste into flakes for re-use occurs, as I mentioned above, mostly in China and Vietnam. Here, much of the processing is undertaken by impoverished communities as a way of bringing in income.
Sadly, the process requires the use of toxic chemicals and a lack of safety protocols means that workers are exposed. Often, entire families are involved in the processing, meaning children can regularly be exposed to these toxins too.
You can hear the full story on this issue via this RN radio segment.
3. Because I've allowed myself to feel deeply enough (please watch):
I PROMISE, next post will be uplifting! I'll talk you through a starter kit for transitioning into zero waste living and it'll make you feel REEEEAAAAAL GOOOOOD!