The basic premise behind this very effective method of reducing your rubbish clearance is borrowed from other fields of study before we even thought much about devastating effects of filling our landfills with rubbish! In the field of medicine, for example, there is a wise old adage that says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This basically means if you use just a little prevention, you don’t even need the cure! It also means you can get a lot more accomplished with a smaller amount of effort if you “nip a problem in the bud.” In other words, if you solve the problem before it actually becomes a problem, it’s much easier to solve!
So, how do we apply this same old adage to the problem we are seeing with so many single use plastic bottles and aluminium cans ending up in the landfill? Recycling efforts alone are not working to keep plastic bottles and aluminium cans out of our rubbish clearance in landfills. Consider the following stats and facts.
According to a study by Coca-Cola, about 16,000 single use plastic bottles are produced every single second! That’s a mind boggling number, especially if you start trying to figure out how many single use plastic bottles would be produced in a minute, an hour, a day, and a year!
Let’s actually do the math!
If 16,000 single use plastic bottles are produced per second:
16,000 x 60 = 960,000 produced per minute (that’s almost a million per minute!)
960,000 x 60 = 57 million 600 thousand produced in just an hour!
57,600,000 x 24 = 1,382,400,000, about 1.4 billion produced every day!
1,382,400,000 x 365 = 504,576,000,000 billion per year!
So, more than HALF A TRILLION single use plastic bottles are produced each year! Coca-Cola alone produces about 100 billion of these! No wonder we have single use plastic bottles adulterating every wrack line on every beach in the world! No wonder we have these same plastic bottles in every ecosystem of our diverse oceans, including the deepest depths of the deep sea! And… no wonder we’re having trouble recycling all of them, or even close to all of them!
To make matters even worse, Greenpeace has determined that only about seven percent of the single use plastic bottles are actually made from recycled plastic. Therefore, we have new plastic entering this waste stream in our rubbish clearance all the time! While Coca-Cola has publicly vowed to improve these numbers, they have a long road to get to one-hundred percent.
So, how many of these single use plastic bottles actually get recycled?
According to a Recoup UK Household Plastics Collection Survey, only about one-third of all plastic bottles are actually recycled! This means that more than sixty-six percent of all single use plastic bottles, most made from virgin plastic, are heading straight into our landfills! This may in part explain why only seven percent of all single use plastic bottles are made from recycled plastic.
What is the current status of single use aluminium cans?
Aluminum single use beverage cans do fair better that single use plastic bottles. This is probably because there’s more profit in recycling aluminium than plastic so there’s more of an incentive to recycle them. According to the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation, in May 2017, the rubbish clearance recycle rate for aluminium cans jumped to seventy percent, up ten points in only three years! However, that still leaves thirty percent of all single use aluminium cans not being recycled at this time!
So, let’s get back to our “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” philosophy and see how we can apply it to this ecological catastrophe.
What if we PREVENT the problem by using less, far less, single use plastic bottles and aluminium cans?! This “ounce of prevention” would greatly lessen the need for a major cure!
Here are some things you can personally do to greatly reduce, or even eliminate, your use of single use plastic bottles and single use aluminium cans:
Buy Sustainable Glass or Stainless Steel Reusable Bottles and Mugs
Use these for around the home and for when you’re travelling. Keep an extra one in your vehicle or backpack just in case you forget your favourite one at home. You can get these in “thermal” versions to help keep your beverages hot or cold! Plus, many coffeeshops and restaurants are now giving a discount on beverages to those who bring their own bottle or mug.
Invest In a Water Filter
You may not realize this but most bottled water is actually tap water that has been filtered! You can do the same thing at home with a water filter. You can then fill your reusable bottles and take them to work and on the road with you! Best yet, you use the filtered water for cooking too!
Eat Fresh Fruit and or Make Your Own Fruit Juice
Bottled fruit juice is not necessary if you make your own fruit juice at home. It will also be much better for you than the ultra pasteurized versions sold in bottles.
Find Alternatives To Sodas
Sodas are not healthy for you. The carbon dioxide is very acid producing in your body which can disrupt your natural flora. The sugar in these drinks are also very harmful. You can make your own “flavoured water” that will taste great and be much healthier. Simple ideas include adding a squeeze of citrus or herbs like mint to your filtered water.
Buy a Soda Maker If You Must Have Fizzy Drinks On Occasion
Are you addicted to carbonated beverages like sodas and feel like you must have them at least occasionally? If so, you can purchase a soda maker with reusable carbon dioxide cartridges and glass carafes.
Clearabee is fully committed to reducing rubbish clearance in our landfills. Therefore, if you do still have single use bottles and single use cans in your rubbish, separate them out and label them as such. Then call Clearabee and they’ll get them to a place that will be sure to recycle them.