Overcoming Plastic

Overcoming plastic is assumed to be a big challenge. It demands that we stop and think about our wrongdoings, change habits and customs that unknowingly caused damage to the environment and to ourselves, and above all, it requires that we acquire the willpower to overcome and replace related comforts and conveniences and engage the imagination to create new solutions.

Never before have we had such a situation where it has become so evident that the changes required, have to begin with ourselves; but, this also implies that it is necessary that these changes take place in different areas of society. For example, the way we consume and also the way things are produced, because, as individuals, we should stop buying, using and throwing away and, instead, start to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. In other words, instead of thinking and acting as consumers, we should start to think and act like users.

How do consumers think? Let’s imagine a straight line that begins when we buy a product, it extends when we use it, and ends when we throw it away. This requires the constant manufacturing of new products from resources that are becoming scarce as well as generating more garbage.

If we think like users, we can imagine a circle where we buy a product, we use it, then we recondition or repair it and finally use it again closing the circle and only when this is not possible, we recycle it to use it as a resource once more by manufacturing other products from it. In this way, we will need fewer resources to manufacture new products, which would reduce the amount of garbage we generate.

As you can see, the difference between one model and the other may seem insignificant, but the results are quite different. In the circle model, it is necessary to think about the preservation and improvement of resources, especially those that are becoming scarce. Additionally, we need to look at the optimization and reuse of these resources and in the constant improvement of this system, in order to reduce the damage caused to the environment and of course to ourselves.

If as individuals we are able to reduce consumption, reuse resources and recycle waste, then the system will be forced to adopt the circle model instead of the straight line.

This time it’s up to us, we the people, to lead this change. Let’s start!