Plastic/ Waste free shopping-SAMPLE PAPER

 

Plastic/ Waste free shopping

Think about how many people go to Walmart a day? It seems like every time you walk into the store it is packed. Now every time someone goes to the store, they leave with something they bought in a plastic bag. Plastic is so harmful for the environment and according to biologicaldiversity.com it even takes up to 500 years to degrade in a landfill. So, what can we do to help make grocery shopping less wasteful? The first step is to get rid of those plastic bags. There are multiple alternatives that can help to solve this problem. The first and most obvious solution is to provide reusable cloth bags. This would tremendously reduce the waste that is created from the plastic bags. This is a very good option, but someone will always forget their bag when going to the store and will not want to drive home to get it. Therefore, another option if people forgot their reusable bag would be to have paper sacks which are much better for the environment. Or stores could even not supply bags and just check carts and receipts at the door.

There are many other ways in which plastic use can either be reduced or replaced completely while shopping. A lot of people these days especially teenagers and young adults prefer shopping online. This also promotes e-shopping and you do not need a plastic bag while you shop things online. Nevertheless, eco-friendly paper bags and totes can be made available in the bigger stores inside the malls where it is in the eyesight view of the customers.

I strongly believe that the solution to our environmental challenges is not a zero-waste person, and that to make meaningful, sustainable change, we need action from businesses and governments. I still assume, however, that individual action has its position. You place pressure on those businesses and governments to decrease their environmental effects by demanding reform as a consumer and citizen.  And if you want to reduce your own environmental effects, it might be a good place to start by reducing your plastic waste. However, it is important to remember that there are other factors that can raise your carbon footprint even more than the plastic waste that you make, such as how much meat and milk you consume, what transport you use, and how you fuel your house.

Several commitments undertaken by Aldi to make 100% of its packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, including plastic containers, have been announced. At that point, the retailer would also minimize packaging materials in its entire product portfolio by at least 15 percent. Aldi will affect how its products are sourced, manufactured and sold because more than 90 percent of its product offerings are exclusive private label items. The organization will collaborate with its suppliers to achieve the following target, as well as the two responsibilities noted above. The How to Recycle mark will feature 100 per cent of Aldi-exclusive consumable packaging by 2020. The retailer will begin an effort to make packaging for private label items simpler for consumers to reuse by 2020. Via internal information and external reviews, the retailer will direct the continuous development of product packaging.

As the Founding Activator of the United States ALDI U.S., along with other members of the Plastics Pact, has agreed to adhere to these four ambitious objectives:

1.Defining a list of packages to be listed as problematic or redundant by 2021 and taking action to remove them by 2025.

2.All plastic packaging would be 100% reusable , recyclable or compostable by 2025.

3. Implement aggressive steps to successfully recycle or compost 50 percent of plastic packaging by 2025.

4. By 2025, 30 percent will be the average recycled material or responsibly sourced bio-based material in plastic packaging.

Reducing plastic products through cleaning products. We’re obsessed with hygiene and cleanliness in our modern world , which means we have a different cleaning spray for each room and every surface. Cut down the cleaning items you use is one tip for going plastic-free. You might try natural cleaners, such as baking soda or vinegar, to reduce the odor by infusing citrus peels for a few days. The cleaning of liquid refills is another great choice, ensuring that when you run out, you hold the same bottle and refill it, minimizing the number of plastic bottles in circulation.

Our oceans are being polluted every day and it is just so sad. There is at least 8 million tons of plastic that end up in our oceans each year, there is estimated that over 100 tons worldwide is floating around,” and makes up 80 percent of all marine debris from surface waters to deep sea sediment” (Information About Sea Turtles: Threats from Marine Debris). There is also estimated about 5 million square miles of plastic build up and to help you put that into perspective it would be the size of the United States and a third of Canada. Many animals such as sea turtles, sea birds, and marine mammals are impacted by this all the time. In fact, there are at least 1 million animals that die each year because of plastic waste. Plastic alone contains bad toxins and when an animal eats it, they would not be able to digest or in some cases be able to swallow it, causing the animal to suffocate and die. This will obviously lead to further complication and can even affect reproduction. How does it get there you may ask? Well most of our plastic is from the surface and finds a way into our oceans either from the beach, street, or highway.

The environmental effects that pollution has is drastic and is only increasing more and more each year. We must put a stop to this if we want to keep our planet not only beautiful but livable. So, what are some of the worst causes of plastic pollution that exist today. Some of the main contributors are food wrappers and containers, bottle and container caps, plastic bags, straws, and beverage bottles. When you think about it these items are all over the place including the sides of roads, city streets, crowding lakes, beaches, and our oceans. Have you ever driven down the road and not seen one plastic item on the side? That’s really something to think about. There are already multiple actions in place to counteract the effects of plastic pollution, but they are not enough.

So, what can we implement in our everyday lives that may seem simple but can make a very big difference? Food wrappers and containers account for nearly 31.14% of plastic pollution (Martinko). A simple way to counteract this would be to implement more paper sacks at restaurants, only use glassware at home, and when you absolutely have to use plastic make sure you recycle. The second most common source of plastic pollution is bottle and container caps at 15.5% (Martinko). Think about everything in your fridge right now that has a plastic cap, milk, juice, individual drinks, condiment bottles, and so much more. This is something that we can approach companies about changing. Instead of packing everything in the same old plastic container how about having refillable stations at major grocery stores like Walmart. People could bring their own glass bottle and refill it. There could be incentives for doing this like discounts or even working up to a free refill.

Plastic bags are the third most common part of plastic pollution coming in at 11.18% (Martinko). When you think about this it is no surprise, every time you go shopping what do they give you your products in, a plastic bag. Instead of using plastic we could use paper bags or just have a bring your own reusable one system. This could also come with incentives or even just become the new normal. The fourth most common part of plastic pollution is straws at a total of 8.13% (Martinko). This is something very simple that if everyone stopped using plastic straw that would make a major difference. You can buy metal straws very cheap or just not use one. The fifth most common part of plastic pollution is beverage bottles at 7.27% (Martinko). Although it is very convenient to just grab a drink in a plastic bottle when your drinking it there is not difference between that or it you would have put it in a reusable bottle. There are already so many fountain drinks stations available everywhere and if people just brought their own bottle it would be cheaper on them and less costly to our environment. This is just here to demonstrate some of the things that people use every day have a great cost to our environment. With simple changes we could save our environment and reduce plastic pollution.

We are using survey monkey to collect data and there are 12-14 questions about zero waste shopping. We won’t be forcing them to answer all of our questions but will ask for their consent and participation. It will take about 3-5 minutes. We will be doing this survey with approximately 10-15 people. Some of the questions with responses are

1.       Are you conscious of your environmental impact and plastic usage?

Yes

No

2.   Are You interested in changing or improving your environmental impact?

Yes

No

3.   Would you be interested in shopping in with zero waste (no plastic)?

Yes

No

4.   What is keeping you from zero waste shopping?

a.       It would be too hard.

b.       It is not convenient.

c.       It is out of the ordinary.

d.       Just me doing it would not make a difference.

5.   Have you ever heard about “zero waste” or “waste free shopping?”

Yes

No

6.   How many times do you go shopping a month?

a.       2 times

b.       5 times

c.       7 times

d.       10 times

e.       10+ times

7.   Are you aware of ways to not create waste?

Yes

No

8.   What is an item made of plastic that you could remove from your daily life?

a.   Plastic bottles

b.   Plastic bags

c.   Plastic straws

9.   Do you know the effects of plastic on the environment?

Yes

No

10.   Is helping the environment important to you?

Yes

No

11.   What is a way that you can reduce your waste?

a.       Shopping with reusable bags

b.       Throwing my plastic bottles in the trash instead of the recycling

c.       Always using plastic straws

12.   How many species of animals have been threatened or endangered by plastic waste?

a.       50

b.       125

c.       470

d.       700

 

 

 

13.How many plastic bags do you take home from the grocery store each year?

a.       500

b.   750

c.   1200

d.       1500

14. Do you know simple ways to shop waste free?

Yes

No

15.Will you try to live waste free?

Yes

No

 

(*) number of people

1. Yes (12)  No (3)

2. Yes (11) No (4)

3. Yes (14) No (1)

4. It’s not convenient (15)

5. Yes (10) No (5)

6. 2 (3) 5 (10) 7 (2)

7. Yes (12) No (3)

8. Plastic Straw (9) plastic Bag (6)

9. Yes (5) No (10)

10. Yes(14) No(1)

11. Shopping with reusable bags (11) Always using plastic straw (4)

12. 50(2) 125(5) 470(5) 700(3)

13. 500(6) 750(3) 1200(2) 1500(2)

14. Yes(12) No (3)

15. Yes(14) No (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

“Information About Sea Turtles: Threats from Marine Debris.” Sea Turtle Conservancy, conserveturtles.org/information-sea-turtles-threats-marine-debris/.

Martinko, Katherine. “6 Most Common Sources of Plastic Pollution.” Treehugger, www.treehugger.com/most-common-sources-plastic-pollution-4859259.

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