Turn the tide on plastic
This week, our Minimalist challenge is for us all to turn the tide on throw-away plastic.
By 2025, we’re on track to be housing one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the World’s oceans. The plot thickens – we now know this plastic gets broken down into ‘micro-particles’, tiny pieces small enough to be ingested by fish and marine animals. Over time, our animal friends find their digestive tracts have built quite the collection of these plastic micro-particles. It’s not yet clear exactly what the effect of this is, but it seems to be stunting their growth, interfering with reproduction and ultimately, increasing mortality rates (No surprise here - plastic is often toxic, after all!).
Truth is, we don’t even need to know the science to logically see that this outcome is B – A – D. What’s more – we’re filling the bellies of the very animals we love to eat. Let’s not forget, around 17% of the world’s population’s food intake is made up of fish. We’re damaging the Oceans, and we’re ultimately damaging ourselves too.
Here at Vivo HQ, we’re on a mission to be the most sustainable shoe company on the planet. Our designers are continually innovating new ways to use more eco-conscious materials, and make sure that a pair of Vivo shoes last as long as possible. We’ve been incorporating Eco Suede & Eco Canvas into multiple shoe designs (each pair saves an average of 17 PET bottles from languishing in landfill > Read more here) and we’re about to launch the Ultra III using Bloom Foam (made from eco-damaging Algae skimmed from waterways around the World > Read more here).
Challenge One: Give up throw-away plastic.
Let’s imagine we kept hold of the plastic we use, rather than throwing it in the bin.
Especially for us city folk, the big one here centres around food & drink. Coffees, water, sandwiches and salads…. Many of us will get through enough packaging to fill our backpacks on a daily basis. Times that by 7 and we’d be carting around a huge volume of throw-away plastic by the end of a week.
So let’s reel it in, and take a few basic steps to totally sideline the issue: Re-usable Coffee cup, Tupperware, pocket-shopping bag and a bottle (ideally with a built-in filter). We’ve heard it a hundred times, but if we all make this simple change, together we’d be saving a HUGE volume of rubbish from landfill.
In the UK we use around 7 million disposable coffee cups every day. The House of Commons alone is said to bin 650,000 of them each year (We hope our friends over the pond aren’t sitting too smugly… you guys are saying goodbye to around 146 billion cups each year). This (briefly) handy little vessel takes around 30 years to break down – you get our point. It’s bad, but totally avoidable. You can’t walk down the street these days without spotting a re-usable coffee cup for sale. If you don’t have one… GET ONE! They’re not just a marketing ploy – these things do make a difference.
An important point to make here is that, when it comes to making durable, easily cleaned products, plastic can be a great material – we just need to change our relationship with when using it is appropriate. The next time you consider a plastic product, lend it a little respect and pause to ponder – will I keep using this product? Do I need it? If the answer is truly yes, then you’re good to go. If not? Well, you know what to do.
Show plastic some respect: it’s time to turn the tide.
Here’s some of our favourite products to help curb your disposable packaging habits
Something for your Lunch
>> Check out these cool & functional bento-style lunch boxes
Something for your Coffee
>> Never trash a cup again. Many coffee shops offer discounts for re-usable cup owners
Something for your Water
>> Naturally filter your water with this Japanese charcoal method
Something for your Shopping
>> Keep a stuffable shopping bag with you and banning plastic bags becomes effortless
Re-usable Produce Bags
>> The easiest way to avoid plastic-wrapped food. Give these a go