When talking about trash, plastic is the real topic of conversation. Plastic is one of mankind's best and worst inventions.
Its discovery was revolutionary. It created businesses, transformed consumerism and for the first time ever, humans were not constrained by the limits of nature.
However, plastic quickly became popular and it became a necessity. People got attached to it and now they don't know how to live without it. Unfortunately plastic is not the type of product our planet needs. In fact it's destroying it, one piece at a time.
It takes on average about 450 years for it to biodegrade. Sometimes up to 1,000 years. It ruins ecosystems, kills species and its production increases our planet's temperature. So then why are we so attached to it? Well, it's handy and it's helpful. But do we need it? Absolutely not.
Most of the plastic pollution comes from single-use products like plastic bags, plastic straws and plastic bottles. This means they are just used once and disposed of after their use. Most of those products will end up in landfills, very little of it will be recycled and a good portion of it will be left out in the environment and eventually end up in our oceans. When plastic enters our ocean, it decomposes into micro-plastics, which are easily confused for plankton by fish. In the long run, fish will eat the plastic and we eat the fish. A viscous cycle...
So what can we do to prevent this from happening? The answer is simple. Stop using single-use plastic. Refill your reusable water bottle. Bring a reusable bag for your grocery shopping. Stop using plastic straws (they have absolutely zero use).
Another option is to start using biodegradable products. We're not quite there yet but fortunately a lot of good people are trying to engineer a sustainable product.
Check out Kevin Kumala from Avani Eco who makes plastic bags from 100% natural cassava starch.