Small but mighty.
We realised that we have been neglecting our blog over the last few months, and that is something that we are striving to get better at! That's our New Year's Resolution! :)
Over the past 4 months, we have come so far and we look forward to continuing our journey with PLASTIC:Unwrapped. Part of the reason that our blog posts have been sparse, is firstly due to the internet connection in some places but also because we have learned so many other skills, met so many people, and have taken on new skills. Being present and immersing yourself with people from all walks of life makes it hard to reflect online. We're both individuals who enjoy being present offline and so this has been a challenge for us. We do try, however, to maintain our social media pages which has been easier, so check those out for more frequent and visual updates of our whereabouts.
With the new year starting many individuals have taken it upon themselves to what reflect on their own use of plastic and make it their New Year's resolution to reduce their plastic footprint. This is sometimes easier said than done. However, the opportunities, the infrastructure, and the availability of plastic-free alternatives are becoming more widespread.
Change is a big part of moving the paradigm shift from a society that revolves around plastic to alternatives. Nonetheless, plastic-free alternatives might not be as good and environmentally beneficial as we may think! This is one aspect that the past 4 months of travel has shown us- greenwashing is a frequent occurrence and just because products are branded being ‘sustainable’, ‘eco’ or ‘green’- we have to be wary about the true impact. There will always be a trade-off, but the more research we do and the more we learn about this trade-off, the more we as a society and as consumers, can use our power and make choices that are ultimately more planet-friendly.
Change may be small, but baby steps are still significant. It brought us joy that the Mr. Morocho stand (Morocho is an Ecuadorian maize dessert that is a very popular street food- it is served with raisins and cinnamon) has now substituted their polystyrene cups to recyclable cups. While these are still lined with plastic, recycling of these cups is easier and more valued than the recycling of polystyrene cups. Once again, as we learned at Extrupet, Africa's largest PET recycling plant, nearly all materials can be recycled, but because of their low recycling value, many don't get recycled because it is not economically viable.
Changes may be small and slow, but they are still significant. So for this next year, we do not need a few people doing their part perfectly, a handful of people who have taken on a 100% plastic-free lifestyle, but rather, we need lots of people doing small things, frequently.
Towards a cleaner and plastic-free environment in 2020!