The Responsible Consumer: Why You Can Change The World
If you recently started your eco-journey, or feel like your sustainable decisions so far are having no impact on reducing plastic waste, this post is for you.
Where plastics are used. Source and ©: Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Roland Geyer, Jenna R. Jambeck, Kara Lavender Law
As you can see, plastics are used in virtually every industry that exists on this earth - and more than 76% end up as waste in our oceans and on land. Not only that, almost 50% of this plastic waste is used just once - our disposables.
Governments’ lack of action to reduce this waste and businesses’ focus on growth at the expense of the environment are major reasons why industries continue to create so much unnecessary plastic waste. The common underlying factor for both government and businesses, though, is you.
you - the responsible consumer - can drive the change
Governments serve you the citizen, and businesses serve you the consumer. This means that the ultimate power of what they should and shouldn’t do, lies with you!
When you take a stance against pollution, you push your government and businesses to be more sustainable so they can keep serving you. And remember, you’re not alone! As you encourage friends and family to take a stance too, you’re joining an entire global movement of people who have also taken a stance. This collective action puts pressure on our biggest polluters to change.
The power lies within you. If you demand change, it will happen.
Still skeptical that your decisions can help create a sustainable world? Here are some positive facts:
- After receiving a lot of consumer feedback, mega-companies Unilever and Procter & Gamble have launched sustainability plans - not just for the products they make, but plans for the entire business structure. This means right from their supply chain to the investments they make, sustainability will be a key factor for them. And that’s just 2 of the several companies joining the sustainability train!
- In recognition of the threat climate change poses to you, world leaders regularly attend summits like the Conference of Parties and the UN Environmental Assembly to formulate plans that will help resolve climate change.
- Companies like Tesla keep being created, with sustainability as their primary focus, to satisfy you the consumer demanding for better businesses.
- Germany, France, Greece, and China are just a few of the countries that have started banning single-use plastics in varying degrees.
As you can see, grassroots action is very important in the fight against plastic waste. It helps create awareness in our communities and the spaces around us and helps push for more accountability from those supposed to serve us. So whenever you feel overwhelmed, or feel like things may never get better - just look around you! There’s constant good news, and positive change going on because we all continue to push for change.
Your choices as a consumer have an impact on businesses and governments
As we head into Plastic Free July, let this be a friendly reminder that what you’re doing matters!
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