Why are we still using plastic?

carlychalmers's profile thumbnail
This is something I think a lot about too.You're right, only 9% of plastics is recycled from what I've read (these stats are absolutely true for Canada & the UK). The system is really broken. I live in Toronto, and what types of plastics can be recycled in our municipality might not be able to be recycled in a nearby municipality and vice versa. However, a yoghurt container will have "recyclable" written on it, or have the symbol, even though it may not be recyclable in a certain place.A few years ago in Toronto it was announced we could recycle plastic bags. Exciting. However, this is only because we were selling this waste to China and other countries. Now, they don't want our garbage. But the damage is done - people think they can use as many plastic bags as they want and they are truly recycled into something else. Not true. We live in a capitalist society and many recycling companies are out to make a profit. Many have thin profit margins. Recycling shouldn't be for profit but like everything else, it is. The system is broken.Reduction is the way forward. I am encouraged by the number was zero waste grocery stores popping up. The bulk food store chain allows people to bring their own containers. Reego is a new initiative to reduce single use coffee cups.I imagine plastic is still prevalent as it's the cheapest option for many companies to package their products, sadly. One bit of good news last year is that sales of yoghurt pots in the UK had gone down, and they think it's because more people are making their own. Consumers can dictate the market but I really wish governments had more aggressive policies around single use plastic.
sandramedina's profile thumbnail
Same! But I hadn't realized zero waste grocery stores were still a trend. I heard about them a couple of years ago but haven't heard of any opening near me, although I'd love to try going to one. At the co-op that I'm a member of and shop at, I very rarely see people using the plastic bags provided for produce - they've just started putting it directly in their cart or bringing their own mesh bags. It's a small thing but it's nice to know some people are considering things like this when they shop.