A world without plastic: it’s difficult to imagine, but for just one day the world attempted it. June 5th this year was not only World Environment Day, but also a day to try and rid your life of plastic just for twenty four hours, an international campaign promoted by A Plastic Planet.
Because plastic has become such an intrinsic part of our lives – parts of our cars, light fittings, and shoes – the realistic goal of avoiding plastic packaging for food and drink was given, and many rose to the challenge using the #PassOnPlastic hashtag on social media.
Some users recommended never using cling film, or highlighted how easy it was to get a coffee in your own cup in stores. Many shared how they requested their cold drinks without plastic straws in restaurants, and how they carried cutlery around with them to prevent needing single use cutlery.
It may seem like a small goal, but nearly 1 million tonnes of plastic are used every year by supermarkets just for packaging up food, and many campaigners believe that reducing plastic here could change all of our habits for a lifetime. After all, everyone eats.
Here at OmniDynamics, we have watched this campaign with interest. There are many in the world who are encouraging an approach to plastic that essentially means removing it from our lives completely, but we believe that a smarter approach to plastic is going to stick with people longer. Restricting it completely will only create other challenges: what do we replace it with, when plastic in many cases was chosen as a material because it was the best one?
That is why we are developing the Re-Strooder, a device that enables people to reuse the plastic bottles, packaging, and bags that they already have, turning it into plastic pellets perfectly designed for 3D printing. Getting smarter with plastic means that less will need to be produced in the future, reducing the amount in our ecosystems, and enabling more innovative ways of creating things with it.
What do you think? Did you participate in Plastic Free Day? Have you been attempting to reduce the amount of plastic in your life – or do you think that you would struggle without it? Let us know in the comments below.