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(Believe it or not, ditching the straw does help). Ditch the straw

”Yeah, but what good does it do that I as an individual ditch straws, single-use cups or dish-clothes with microplastic, when each year 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean?”?

This is a question that we regularly get in Plastic Change, just like we receive negative comments from people who think it is ridiculous that we are warning against microplastic in cosmetic products when most of the microplastic waste in nature comes from car tires.

The Plastic hangover

It is true that it is probably not enough in itself that individual consumers change their habits, just like the single vote in a general election doesn’t decide who will become the prime minister. But if we are many who do the same thing, we can make a difference.

Right now, people all over the globe are realizing that we have had a plastic party for the past 50 years, and the hangover is here to say hello, and it will not go away by itself but just get worse if we don’t do something.

If you and I and other consumers throughout the country say no thank you to the straw or ditch the disposable cutlery, it would mean a direct, if small, reduction in the consumption of single-use plastic, and at the same time it would be an important signal to the industry and politicians alike that something must change – both in the production and in legislation.

plastik forurening i Danmark - Plastic Change - Charlottenlund
FOTO AF PLASTIC CHANGE / CHARLOTTENLUND

Our signal has been received

That signal has been understood, at least to a certain extent.

Every day here at Plastic Change, we are approached by large and small corporations, stores, and entrepreneurs who want our help or cooperation to develop new methods of managing or recycling plastic. This includes everything from art pieces and recyclable plastic meat trays to grocery stores that are stopping sales of disposable tableware, beer without plastic covering, cafés with reusable cups, companies who are experimenting with recycling used fishing nets and many more. It is far from enough, but it is a step in the right direction. We are still waiting on the tire industry. In the meantime, I guess we have to try to not wear down our tires as much…

At the same time the politicians are waking up. We have finally gotten a Danish plastic action plan, that pinpoints many of the plastic issues that we have been highlighting for years. The fact that there are lists of unanswered questions in the plan, and that far too little money has been allocated in order to achieve the goals, is a different story, one that we will pursue in the future.

Please keep going

All in all, things are starting to happen! And not least because a lot of us “regular” people and consumers, and here I allow myself to include the private people inside the politician and the CEO, have in our own way reacted to a concern about the increasing plastic pollution.

So, keep knitting dish cloths, use your mesh bags, drink water from the tap and say no thank you to straws. Every little bit helps!!