According to National Geographic statistics, we’ve created 6.9 billion tons of plastic waste, and of that waste, 6.3 billion tons never made it to a recycling bin. It feels almost impossible to wrap our minds around these numbers. So instead, we decided to take a closer look at what we, as a family of four, create in terms of plastic waste. We took a good look at what we were routinely creating before the start of this process, and we multiplied that visual to understand the depth of the global problem we contribute to daily.
At the beginning of our process, I took this picture of our recycling bin. We try to be pretty mindful shoppers, visit farmer’s markets, grow some of our own food, etc. - but it was brimming over with plastic clam-shells from salad, plastic egg cartons, plastic bags from cereal, plastic yogurt tubes for the kids, plastic yogurt containers for the moms, cardboard sprayed in plastic sealant, plastic wrap from toilet paper and tissue boxes, etc. The list goes on and on. We couldn’t avoid plastic. Or, could we?
We launched 2019 Plastic-Free - finishing what we had in the house, but not purchasing any new single-use plastics (or short-term use plastics), noticing along the way what feels sustainable to maintain over time. We will be reporting our journey here and on Instagram, sharing resources, and hopefully inspiring others along the way.