Whenever I am under an immense amount of stress, I close my eyes and picture myself on a quiet beach somewhere far away. It doesn’t matter where exactly, as long as it is a beach with very little amount of people around, preferably none. My mother dreams of moving to a city with a shoreline, « ocean calms me down and brings me peace », she says. I tend to agree. Having lived in Paris – a city without a shoreline, I find myself often needing to take a short trip to the beach.
Most of us enjoy open water; being near it calms and relaxes us. Then why do we pollute it so much?
Every year there are more beached whales that die from having kilograms of plastic in their stomachs; there is a plastic trash patch in Pacific that is bigger than the size of metropolitan France and yet we continue to produce and consume more and more plastic. According to the offical EU statistics, yearly global plastic production has increased from 1,5 in 1950 to 322 million tonnes in 2015. These numbers are alarming to say the least.
Thankfully, things are starting to look up, a little, and there are individuals who care and try to resolve the problem by finding a creative solution to the problem. Aside from the obvious ways to reduce plastic consumption, I would like to mention a few other ways to reduce or help others on their mission.
For starters there is 4Ocean – a company that collects plastics from the sea and shorelines all over the world. The waste is then used to create bracelets that further fund the programme. « When you purchase a bracelet, we’ll pull one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines on your behalf. » – the company states. 4Ocean has already removed 2 443 140 kilograms of trash from the ocean and coastlines.
Fashion joins in.
The fashion industry seems to have finally begun to look into the plastic issue and it appears that helping the oceans has become on trend.
Adidas has sold over 1 million sneakers made from plastic in 2017 alone and continues to sell them to date. If you need a pair of running shoes, perhaps you should look into this option, instead of getting regular kicks.
Prada has just unveiled a range of travel bags made from 100% recycled ocean plastic. The Re-Nylon collection is part of the brand’s broader effort to invest in sustainable alternatives. The bags are made from Econyl, a material developed by a textile yarn producer Aquafil. The company states the process of creating Econyl means the material can be recycled indefinitely, with no loss of quality. Prada aims to stop using virgin nylon completely by the end of 2021.
Stella McCartney has been at the forefront of cruelty-free, leather and fur-free ethos. The brand uses recycled polyester and nylon in its products and aims to create a business that is « regenerative by design ».
So what can we say in the end? The answer is simple. It is high time the modern society pays attention to this problem. Buying a plastic bottle of water may seem harmless at first, after all, they are supposed to be recycled. However, only about 30% of the plastic waste is processed and recycled. The rest ends up in the ocean or the landfill, if not incinerated. Plastic will outlive this generation and many more generations to come; maybe it is time to make the right choice the next time you shop?