Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Plastic Fantastic - Apparently! #environment #recycle #greeneconomy

When we at WinC encourage you to wrap your gifts in cotton, or use one of our cotton gift bags, we are not only championing saving our forests, we are also preserving the world's ever diminishing fossil fuel reserves. Many of our gift wrapping products are made from plastic which in turn is made from petroleum products. These products are cute and yes they can also be re-used but they also pose an enormous problem to the environment once they are disposed of. I hear you say - we put it in the bin! And yes, that is fine but, even in landfill plastic is there forever. It simply does not break down. The big push for the banning of plastic shopping bags is for precisely this reason - plastic is virtually indistructible. A refundable levy on plastic drink bottles is also gaining momentum for precisely the same reason. Plastic is forever!

Much of our plastic does not even make landfill. It ends up in our waterways and our oceans creating a death trap for much of our ocean's creatures. The CSIRO has just finished a study of Australia's coastline and our beaches are covered in rubbish, with plastic making up three quarters of the marine debris. There are 5.2 pieces of debris for every person in Australia. CSIRO  collected data over 18 months at 100km intervals around Australia's 35,000km coastline. While many may argue that the rubbish washes up from other countries, this is generally not true with the majority of the debris being identified as originating in Australia.

Besides making our beaches look like rubbish tips, plastic in our oceans affects up to 650species including dolphins, whales, turtles and hundreds of smaller animals. To a sea turtle, a floating plastic bag looks like a jellyfish. And plastic pellets--the small hard pieces of plastic from which plastic products are made--look like fish eggs to seabirds. Drifting nets entangle birds, fish and mammals, making it difficult, if not impossible to move or eat. As our consumption of plastic mounts, so too does the danger to marine life. Plastic remains floating on the surface, the same place where many genuine food sources lie--and can remain so for 400 years. Plastic is durable and strong--precisely the qualities that make it so dangerous if it reaches the ocean.

The problem of plastic pollution is very real and far reaching. Simply by changing the way we present gifts we can make a significant change to the plastic pollution on our beaches and in our ocens and waterways. So make the change today to sustainable gift wrap and reduce the number of trees being harvested to make paper, preserve our diminishing fossil fuel reserves and reduce the plastic pollution of our landfill, waterways and oceans. You do not have to go back to the dark ages to make these changes, all you have to do is give a beautifully elegant gift that is wrapped in cotton.  This wrap can then be 'paid forward' to a new recipient who in turn can do exactly the same thing.

This concept is simple, effective and best of all it embraces the philosophy of 'pay it forward'. In a world where isolation is becoming increasingly prevalent any act of reaching out and connecting through the simple act of 'paying forward' can only improve the fabric of society.

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”
Jacques-Yves Cousteau

We acknowledge - Plastics in our Oceans by Kimberley Ameral
                           - CSIRO Study,2013

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