More than 10 million tons of plastic are dumped into the earth’s oceans each year. This waste adversely affects the lives of hundreds or thousands of marine species. And oceanic plastic waste works it's way back to us, too, through the food chain. Micro-plastic scraps floating in the open water are ingested by plankton, which are in turn ingested by larger and larger creatures. Eventually, the toxic substances within micro-plastics are eaten by fish and other sea creatures that we humans eat. By contributing to excessive plastic waste, we not only poison the oceans, but we also poison ourselves.
Here's a sad stat: if we continue to use plastic and create waste at the current rate, ocean plastic will outweigh all fish in the sea by 2050.
That’s Why We All Have a Responsibility To Reduce Our Plastic Footprints
The first step in this journey is understanding how much plastic we consume. If you want to figure out your yearly plastic consumption, check out this awesome plastic footprint calculator. Here’s an example of how to use it:
- Start with your everyday needs and shopping habits. How many plastic bags do you use when grocery shopping? How many bottles of water do you buy each week? Count all of them. Let's assume that, weekly, you buy or use three PET bottles, five plastic bags, eight food wrappers, and two yogurt containers.
- Let's move to the laundry, cleaning, and bathroom. Punch in your families’ plastic usage in these areas, e.g., four cotton swabs per week and four detergent bottles, two shampoo bottles, and two refill packets per half-year. Add toothbrushes and toothpaste - in our example, we use three of each per year.
- Next, add all disposable wastes and takeaway containers. Takeaway lunch four times per week (and don't forget about the cutlery pieces!), grabbing a coffee on the go twice per week, a couple of drinks with straws per week, and a plastic plate at a Sunday barbecue...wow, you’ll see it quickly adds up. We know they are quick and convenient, but these plastics are also some of the easiest to avoid using. Reusing a straw and bringing your own reusable water bottle and food container can go a long way.
- The plastic footprint calculator will tabulate all the plastic you use throughout the year. Our example summed up to 64 pounds (29 kg), which is close to the average European citizen’s usage, at 68 pounds (31 kg). That's a lot of plastic! And even this footprint is relatively small if you live in the US: the average American throws away approximately 185 pounds (84 kg) a year! Multiply this by 330 million US inhabitants, and you will understand why plastic pollution is such a pressing issue.
Changing even the simplest of our daily routines can make a significant difference in reducing our plastic footprints.
For instance, let's look at what happens when you stop using liquid soap in a plastic bottle and start using a paper soap alternative instead. If you use the recommended 2.5 mL of soap per handwashing, you can calculate the life of a 7.5-oz bottle of liquid hand soap:
7.5 ounces = 221.8 mL
221.8 mL divided by 2.5 mL per handwashing = 89 handwashing
That means a bottle of liquid soap’s lifetime is just nine days, which equates to nearly three bottles per month!
|Liquid Soap||Paper Soap|
|A Month||3 bottles||0 bottles|
|A Year||36 bottles||0 bottles|
|In 3 Years||108 bottles||0 bottles|
|A Family of 4 over 3 Years||432 bottles||0 bottles|
At Zanova, We Make It Easy To Reduce Your Plastic Footprint
One of our chief goals Zanova is to reduce plastic waste, helping us foster a more livable environment. That’s why we’re so proud to offer our first 100% plastic-free, fully biodegradable product.
Everything we carry is vetted by our team of sustainability experts to ensure it meets the Package Free Standard and additional core sustainability criteria. We thoroughly evaluate every product's ingredients, packaging, and end of life, ensuring that everything we carry is safe for people and the planet.