Getting to Know Plastics: Plastic Diet Day 4

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Living four days without consuming plastics hasn’t been such a challenge yet; nevertheless it became more fun. As a quick reference to my last blog post, I aim to reduce my plastic use significantly for 30 days and reuse the products that I already have. My main motivation to do this is to help drawing attention to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and other marine debris around the world.

Plastics can live longer than human beings. It takes 100 years for a plastic bottle to degrade in a marine environment. Given that plastics were invented only in the 19th century, almost all of the plastic content that was produced still exists somewhere in the world.

It is indeed very easy to live without plastic bags and plastic bottles. I bring my own shopping bag when I go grocery shopping and I reuse my old bottles and try to avoid plastic bottles in any kind. It was hard to give up some of beverages that I like. However, I can find access to drinking water easily in many developed cities. Hence, glass bottles and cans always seem to be good options.

After three days, I can say the hardest part of a non-plastic life is when I get coffee to-go from a coffee shop but I’m not supposed to get the plastic lid. It’s difficult to carry and drink cofee without the lid. Moreover, there is even a debate about the coffee cup itself.

There are different waste management practices in different countries around the world. Just like consuming plastics differ in regions, the treatment of plastic waste also differs. I know different types of plastics should be sorted before the recycling process, which appears to be the biggest challenge. I learned the different types of plastics, classified with numbers from 1 to 7, however, I wasn’t able to gather any data where I could see which type is the most commonly produced and or which type is the most easily recycled one.

I’m still uninformed about many things in the plastics world, but I am glad to cut my plastic consumption by simply being aware of what I am doing. There is also so much entertainment in doing so. On my second day of plastic-diet I was happy watching this short film by Ramin Bahrani. Let’s watch the world from a plastic bag’s perspective and be careful.

photo: Levent Bas

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2 Comments

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