Did you know that every day, we use over 500 million plastic straws? And that’s just in the United States. And just for drinks. Plastic straws are one of the most common types of single-use plastics, and they’re also one of the most harmful. Single use plastics have also crept into other aspects of every day life - the plastic bag your recent online order was shipped in, the tape used to seal a box, beverage containers, cutlery, food containers.
They’re made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, and they never biodegrade. Instead, they end up polluting our oceans and harming marine life. So it’s important that we take steps to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics.
A Danger to Marine Life
Marine life is suffering at the hands of plastic waste, with many creatures mistaking it for food. Unfortunately, these creatures are consuming plastic particles and other pollutants, which can cause a range of physical problems. While some animals can regurgitate or pass the plastic they have ingested, this isn't always possible.
It’s not enough just to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics. We need to find ways to recycle or dispose of plastic waste in responsible, sustainable ways. One popular option is upcycling; this involves transforming existing items of plastic into something new and useful. The plastic FiveADRIFT helps stop from entering the ocean is re-routed for this type of use. Upcycling plastic waste, when done correctly, is a great way to break the cycle of single-use plastics ending up in our environment and lessen the harmful impact they have on marine life. The key is to ensure a circular loop on the upcycled products such that they are then recycled again at the end of their life and not just tossed out.
Awareness is Key
Before we founded FiveADRIFT, we weren't thinking too much about single use plastics. It really wasn't until we were alone on a remote beach and encountered plastic waste when it really hit us - plastic in the oceans is a huge problem. It was like a glass shattering in our brains and suddenly we saw it everywhere. Helping to spread awareness of this problem is the first step to fixing it. We can do this by hosting educational events such as films screenings, panel discussions and workshops. There are also many environmental organizations dedicated to raising awareness about single-use plastics and inspiring positive change.
In addition to organized events, we can also help spread the word through social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. By posting relevant content on these platforms, we can reach a wider audience in an engaging way. We can share helpful tips for reducing single-use plastic waste or inspiring stories about individuals and organizations who are making a difference in this area.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Another great way to increase awareness is to take part in local cleanups or beach cleanups with your Parley.TV's Air Pledge or 5 Minute Beach Cleanup. Engaging this way will help demonstrate how much plastic waste has been accumulating in our ocean ecosystems due to human negligence. Seeing it first-hand often creates an emotional reaction that spurs people into action. It also provides a chance for participants to learn more about proper disposal methods for various types of single-use plastics so they can continue their efforts at home.
How Does FiveADRIFT Avoid Single Use Plastics?
At FiveADRIFT, eliminating single-use plastics from our hemp and cotton Turkish towel supply chain has been a priority for us since the very beginning.
First, we use upcycled cardboard belly bands instead of plastic packaging for shipping our Turkish towels. This cardboard is sourced from local suppliers who have done their own research into the sustainability and longevity of their material. We also ensure that all of our packaging materials are FSC-certified – meaning they come from responsibly managed forests and other sources that are not at risk of deforestation or habitat loss. In addition to being eco-friendly, these boxes are much lighter than their plastic counterparts, thereby reducing fuel consumption during transit.
We’ve also switched to hemp & cotton turkish towel packaging instead of plastic wraps or bags. Hemp is an incredibly strong yet lightweight fabric and it’s naturally resistant to water and dirt damage, making it perfect for storing multiple Turkish Towels at once. Not only does this help us keep costs down by avoiding single-use plastics altogether, but it also results in fewer landfill trips as well!
Finally, we no longer use any type of plastic tape or plastic air pillows when shipping our orders as this can also create unnecessary amounts of waste. Instead, we've sourced compostable mailers made from corn waste for the last mile shipping to our customers. This ensure that even if one of our mailers gets into the environment, it will break down quickly.
Since switching over our system entirely away from single-use plastics packaging, we have seen an incredible response both internally and externally. Our customers appreciate knowing that they are supporting a brand with sustainable values while still receiving quality products in return - not just plain Turkish towels but stylish designs with intricate detail too! Internally, everyone here is proud knowing that we’re doing what we can to make a positive impact on our planet by making small changes with big results - keeping more single-use plastics out of landfills and oceans where otherwise they might end up!
By actively participating in conversations around single-use plastics at home and at work, we can help encourage others to think more critically about their lifestyle choices and commit to making sustainable changes that will have a positive impact on our planet’s health.