What's So Wrong With Plastic?

by Liz Watson June 08, 2015

 

So why have we gone to all the bother of setting up this company? Well for me, initially it was because I fancied a challenge. My friend Joy was looking for a partner to get a product manufactured that she just couldn't find anywhere. We thought if Joy was willing to travel to India to find a factory to make us a stainless steel lunch box of the right size and dimensions to fit a proper packed lunch in then we would probably be guaranteed of some kind of customer base. That was how our market research went back in the beginning! Well since then as we’ve got closer to our goal and are on the eve of our crowd-funding campaign, the support and encouragement we have had from all the people we’ve talked about it with has given us confidence that we will be producing something that is genuinely useful.

However in all this time my priorities for this business have shifted slightly. I knew that plastics containing BPA’s and pthalates were Bad! but I didn't know much else. So as I scoured the internet for what exactly are the chemicals in plastic that everyone is so concerned about I got a bit of a wake up call. The chemicals and additives that is going into plastic should be a concern for more of us. It is an opaque and shifting world as some chemicals get banned after testing companies just bring into use other chemicals that could be equally harmful .

But it was while researching the damage that our over consumption of plastic is doing to the environment that made me realise that whatever we can all do, as individuals or as companies to stem this ugly tide then that is all to the good. More than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 tonnes, are floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain. The vast amount of plastic, weighing 268,940 tonnes, includes everything from plastic bags to fishing gear debris. While spread out around the globe, much of this rubbish accumulates in five large ocean gyres, which are circular currents that churn up plastics in a set area. Each of the major oceans have plastic-filled gyres, including the well-known ‘great Pacific garbage patch’ that covers an area roughly equivalent to Texas. This is truly a problem on a global scale. But there are many organisations the world over doing incredible work to find solutions and let people know what is going on. Find out more about this from Dianna Cohen co-founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition in this inspirational TED talk:

There are so many fantastic organisations out there working to bring this information into public consciousness, and its working. I see a shift in the way consumers are choosing products. Even governments getting bans in place for single use plastic bottles…..Go San Francisco!

So I figured that if, by getting involved in this start up, that means that I will be able to contribute to the reduction of plastic consumption by making practical and long lasting alternatives then I will be a happy woman.





Liz Watson
Liz Watson

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