Facing the Plastic Monster

Facing the Plastic Monster

Massy Foods came under fire recently, after its announcement that from July, customers will have to pay for plastic bags. The intention it says, is to discourage the use of these, and to promote greener practices. The company should be given kudos for seeking to build on this initiative. It has dubbed the campaign #LetsDoOurPart, and tomorrow (Tuesday), the company’s CEO will be handing out reusable grocery bag to citizens at its Maraval branch.

First off, we all know this is part of a marketing campaign. Publicity for the cause is also publicity for the company. In this case though, we as citizens need to look at the cause. We have highlighted before, the devastating effect of plastics in particular to the environment. Everything from bottles and containers, to microbeads, which are the tiny particles often found in facial cleansers and bodywash.

Experts say since the 1950s, an estimated 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced. Of that, an estimated 9% has been recycled and another 12% has been incinerated. What’s more, our use of plastic has steadily grown to the point that it is now: 5 million tonnes of plastic are consumed each year.

Moving to zero plastic use is an insurmountable task, but the effort needs to start somewhere. And in many countries, they are starting with single use plastic items – the things that we basically use once, such as plastic grocery bags. We’ve heard Trinis say that here, bags are also used for garbage, but whether its discarded directly or thrown out with rubbish in it, the fact remains that it is usually discarded in quick fashion. And that is a problem. Other major one time use products include disposable diapers, take-out food containers, plastic cups from the coffee place and straws.

In certain cases, the business owner needs to step up to the plate, for example when it comes to take out containers. In other instances, it is up to us the people. Do you really need a straw to drink from your can or bottle? Maybe sometimes cloth diapers can be used. And I’m sure the coffee shops would not mind you bringing in your own cup for your chiller or coffee. In fact, an initiative was recently launched in the US calling on persons to do just that. The Carry Your Cup Campaign asks persons to take their own non-disposable cup for liquids. For those that don’t have one, they are asked to make an effort to drink from glass, ceramic or metal… anything but disposable.

Pollution is a problem that isn’t going to solve itself. And those responsible for it, should be the first to step up, because there is no back-up planet.

Web Master

June 4th, 2018

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