Some weeks ago we launched in La Ciudad Verde a campaign called 30 Days Without Plastic (30 Días Sin Plástico) inspired by July Plastic Free. With this initiative we wanted to challenge citizens to reduce the usage and consumption of plastic for a month. As I started to commit to this challenge I realized the complexity of achieving the goal of living without plastic due to the overwhelming plastic in everything I saw.
When I went to the usual shop to buy food I wasn’t able to find many products without plastic. Even the fruits and vegetables have tags and some of them are packed in plastic bags. For several years I used my own re-usable shopping bags yet I didn’t realize that most of the people who shop use the plastic bags provided by the supermarket. These bags are used for just few minutes and then disposed to the garbage. Did you know that the decomposition of these bags can take up to 100 years and that most of them end up floating in our oceans?
If you go to the drinks section the saturation of plastic is more drastic. Try to find a bottle of any drink that is not packed or doesn’t have any plastic. In many places it’s practically impossible. In the streets and every place we go people consume millions of plastic bottles that take up between 500 and 1000 years to decompose. We should stop consuming water in plastic bottles not only because of the environmental impact but also because of the high prices of bottled water. Did you know that water in a plastic bottle can cost more than 100 times the price of regular drinkable tap water?
90% of the trash floating in the ocean is plastic. 100 thousand sea turtles, whales, and other marine mammals, and more than 1 million sea birds die each year from ocean pollution
Advocating towards a life without (or with less) plastic is a goal that must not only be enhanced by our own actions as citizens. We need commitments from the governments and companies to make this objective possible. In many cities in the world governments are approving policies to reduce plastic. In San Francisco plastic bottles have been banned in city property. Recently Hawaii became the first state in in the United States to ban plastic bags. In Paris, the municipality is even offering free sparkling water in public spaces.
Will you take the challenge? Simple actions can lead to great changes. This are some steps you can take today to make our cities plastic free.