In the year of “single-use” Bali bans it.27 Dec 2018
More fantastic news as another municipality, island, country has banned single-use plastic items, this time Bali governor Wayan Koster has announced a ban on plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam. There is a 6 month grace period allowing businesses to make the necessary changes and Indonesia has also announced an action plan to reduce plastic by 70% by 2025. Source: Channel News Asia
At home people are noticing a difference at the local beach. The busy holiday summer period revealing much cleaner beaches than a few years ago. Bottle deposit schemes, hightened awareness and changes to business practice all seem to be having a positive impact. People are taking pride in their local swimming hole, cleaning up after themselves and others and even calling out those who don’t.
You can feel all the small and large actions from around the world starting to collectively influence people who see the necessity in keeping our ocean and even our soil free of plastic.
Of course there are still companies who are missing the point, naming transport and health as excuses for not adapting to a world needing to cut the single-use habit. We see the supermarkets banning single-use plastic shopping bags though still wrapping avocados or bananas excessively in pointless plastic. An oxymoron, hygiene has been used to explain why bananas, avocado and even garlic are wrapped in plastic packaging? We don’t eat avocado skin and besides, the “germs” could have touched the fruit prior to packaging. False security?
The next question is, why are we continuing to make the stuff? Plastic itself isn’t going anywhere in a hurry, though single-use plastic needs to be taken out of production and quickly. Indonesia itself plagued by single-use water cups and shampoo satchels, examples of the pointless single-use addiction fed by companies putting profit before common sense. Governments should now be looking to tax / penalise companies producing this type of product. Governments can encourage multi-use options by making it too expensive to import or manufacture small one use products, opening the way for small local businesses interested in creating refill and circular economy options. Recycling is not going to fix this issue, nor is it a viable excuse for continually packing things excessively as recycling depends heavily on price and recovery.
If we are going to clean up our oceans and rivers, we need to stop putting unnecessary plastic in there in the first place. Regulations need to be created directing us toward a reusable culture. Wrapping an avocado in plastic needs be so cost prohibitive that it would be business suicide to continue.
We have been led down the path of “convenience” by business creating the myth that single-use is better and easier. Now people are realising the “inconvenience” of single-use as they are left to unpack and dispose of all this crazy waste.
If 2018 was the year of the term “single-use” (Collins dictionary), 2019 must be the year of “reusable” with 2020 being the year of “cleanseas”.
Paul Hellier - Founder
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