Plastic pollution is one of the biggest problems currently facing the health of both us and the planet.
We’ve all seen the images of plastic toothbrushes, bottles, food wrappers and flip flops washed up on remote beaches around the world. Often so remote, the only inhabitants are sea birds and other creatures, without an actual human footprint in sight.
But that’s not to say we don’t leave any footprint. Our plastic footprint has far-reaching consequences….
The Extremely Non-Fantastic Problem with Plastic
Plastics are damaging to the environment, use huge amounts of carbon in their manufacture, release toxins when they’re discarded and take hundreds of years to break down. If not thousands.
Since plastic was only invented in 1907, we simply don’t know how long it takes to disappear. If at all – it’s thought that every single piece of plastic ever manufactured still exists in some form or another. Be that in the dashboards of our cars, or in degraded bits of plastic bags that have made their way into the oceans.
Producing virgin plastic is energy-intensive and polluting and single-use plastics are particularly damaging. Manufacturing them costs the planet dear in terms of valuable and finite resources such as water and energy (fossil fuels like oil and natural gas usually power plastic manufacturing plants). Not to mention the chemicals needed to actually make them.
Then, at the end of their useable life (which in the case of a plastic water bottle can be as short as a few minutes) they get sent to landfill where they leach their chemicals into the surrounding soil and waterways.
If they end up in the oceans, they break up into smaller and smaller pieces. These are ingested by fish and other poor unsuspecting and hungry sea creatures. Worryingly, it’s now known that they’re also entering the human food chain.
At the moment, it’s unknown what the effects of ingesting microplastics are on human health. But we hazard a guess that it isn’t good.
Choosing the Planet Over Convenience
There is simply too much plastic in use right now. The current linear economy of make, use, dispose of – manufacturers make it, we use, then we dispose of it – doesn’t make sense. A circular economy of make (less), use, re-use and recycle makes much more sense both ecologically and financially.
However, recycling isn’t always the answer. In fact, refusing, reusing and reducing plastic is a better way of tackling the problem. Recycling plastic still takes energy and resources and currently, only around 9% of all plastic produced is recycled anyway.
Even chewing gum isn’t a plastic-free affair. Chewing gum is made with plastic and there’s nowhere it’s going but the landfill. For a few hundred years.
The answer is obvious - we all need to be doing all within our means to reduce the amount of plastic we consume.
And at Brushd, we think eliminating plastic from our bathrooms needs to gather more momentum. So join us on our eco journey and choose sustainable bamboo toothbrushes and chewable toothpaste and mouthwash tablets in reusable glass jars with metal screw lids.
Stylish, eco-friendly and just as effective as ‘normal’ oral care products, they’re the perfect accompaniment to any eco-friendly bathroom. When are you getting on board?