The Plastic Problem
Updated: Aug 25, 2020
The Plastic Problem
Now if you don’t think we as a society don’t have a problem with plastics then you must be burying your head in the sand. Don’t get me wrong, plastic is fantastic. It really can be used for anything and everything. Whether it’s keeping our food fresh or being an essential part of electronics, it is a great material. The real benefit is that it replaced glass and metal as the material of choice. The earth probably would have run out of these a long time ago, it also stopped as much need for wood, meaning our forests have lasted longer. Whitete. even uses it for their clothing.
The real issue is that no matter how wonderful plastic is, we cannot get rid of it. If we put a single-use plastic bottle in a landfill, it will stay there for, effectively forever. If we bury that plastic bottle, it will stay there for, effectively forever. If we put it in the ocean, well you get the point. If we continue to dispose of our plastics in these ways we will kill our planet. A single google search and you can see the impact that plastic pollution has on our planet and the wildlife that it supports.
In the U.K. an estimated 13.5 billion plastic bottles are used each year. We do a pretty good job, 7.5 billion of these are recycled. This still leaves 5.5 billion that are sent to landfill or incineration. We will cover that kind of pollution on another day. Disappointingly, Westminster council sent 82% of it’s plastic recycling to incineration. That’s from the RECYCLING bins that are collected. The U.K. exports 445 million kg to developing countries, it is extremely difficult to know exactly what happens after that.
Plastic comes in many forms, some are easier to recycle than others. We need big global companies to stop creating more single-use, hard to recycled plastic. There are some amazing companies out there turning our plastic waste back into raw materials. These should be used. Recycling plastic into; pallets, more plastic bottle and polyester will reduce the need for more plastic to be created. Some real progress has been made with a chemical recycling process. We can turn plastic into oil and gas, reducing the need for more drilling. We are not sure 2 wrongs make a right in that case. If we had a more environmentally friendly use for oil and gas this would be a great use of existing plastic. The U.K. government has started taking action on plastic pollution. A new tax is being introduced for packaging that uses less than 30% recycled materials; clearer labeling for customers and ways to force companies to take responsibility.
Here at whitete. we use post-consumer plastic polyester for all of our clothing. We strongly believe in Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. A whitete. will always be in fashion and our te. will last forever. Hand it down, turn it into something else but please do not throw it away. Our clothing is available at www.whitete.co.uk.