Here we are, out in the ocean and we are truly grateful for the warm welcome given to our initiative.
In this post we would like to explain to you the reasons to set Sinplástico up, and to clarify some basic concepts about the harm plastic causes.
As we said in our first post, we do not want to be alarmists, ominous, not even extremists. Is it possible to have quality of life without plastic? Would we live more uncomfortably without plastic goods? Is it more expensive to live without plastic?
First of all, we want to make clear that we are not against the use of plastic… We need plastic, for example, to secure electrical wires, nowadays, and it is essential to use electrical and electronic devices.
However, we do not like this material being used only once for a short period of time when we know that its ecological footprints last hundreds of years. For example, those millions of bags used just a few minutes to carry the shopping home and then being thrown away. Is it really a good idea to spend time removing the unnecessary wrapping and package when coming back from the market?
…not to mention the ingredients…
We don´t like petrol being the raw material for plastic because it is the main cause of the greenhouse effect but, nevertheless, what we really dislike are those wrongly so-called bio-plastics since they are made from food, for instance, corn and potatoes. Thus, on having created large estates growing a single crop we finish with the biodiversity. Furthermore, when we use food as a disposable we increase their price contributing to world’s hunger and poverty.
We don´t like plastic additives either, the other half of plastic formulation. They are made up of dangerous substances such as phthalates, bisphenol A, vinyl chloride, styrene, flame retardants and heavy metals. Moreover, every type of plastic has its secret formula which helps to hide the hazards and toxicity that its use involves, and contributes to companies’ opacity. They try to sell us the idea that new plastics are biodegradable and that they can be used even as fertilizers.
We do not like to have more than 80,000 different types of plastic, classified in only seven subgroups. This makes its recycling almost impossible because it restricts the possibilities to manage such a quantity and variety of waste and, therefore, it contributes to plastics ending thrown away into the oceans. Thousands of animals are killed every day by swallowing plastic. In addition, plastic is a porous material which absorbs, like a sponge, the toxins and heavy metals we throw into the sea. Nowadays there are more bits of plastic floating across the sea than plankton. And we all know of beaches with more particles of plastic than sand.
Finally, we don´t agree when we are told that plastic is a hygienic product we must use to preserve our food and medicines or to store everyday objects. Because what plastic touches becomes plastic and goes into our body, and no living creature, including the Earth, knows how to assimilate or to get rid of it.
In future posts we will discuss all these issues in more detail, giving more extended examples, in order to make a good diagnosis of the problem, caused by the indiscriminate use of plastic, we already have.