World Environment Day
If you are part of The World Permaculture Association Facebook Community, you would remember that back in June I posted about World Environment Day. This year’s theme is plastic pollution. The host country this year will be India! Facebook Buzz has been going crazy with different issues as well as solutions for the Plastic Pollution Epidemic. The question I want to ask everyone in our community, How can we make a difference? How can we eliminate plastics from our food supply, our body and, our life?
What is plastic?
Plastics date back to 3,500 years ago when the Olmecs of Mexico used the sap from rubber trees to make rubber balls. During the 1800’s we started to make plastic synthetically. Natural gas, oil, coal, minerals, and plants are now what are plastics are made from. Bioplastics are plastics that are biodegradable. These biodegradable materials come from renewable sources.
Solutions to Plastic
Could 3D printing technology be a great eco-friendly option compared to traditional plastic manufacturing? 3D printing has not gone entirely eco-friendly as of yet there are still some products used that are not biodegradable. Also, 3D printing uses a lot of energy to produce. However, if the materials are corn-based or other bioplastics made many benefits still save the environment such as less toxic waste, fewer emissions, and a better life cycle.
Another option available is TerraCotta for containers. As well as for irrigation methods using TerraCotta as an alternative to plastic pipes. I will be doing a blog post soon, all about TerraCotta as well as Irrigation Systems.
Plant-Based Plastic Vs. Man Made Plastic
Can replacing human-made plastics with a plant-based plastic be a solution? Plant-based plastics are natural polymers from agricultural, cellulose or potato and cornstarch waste. The advantages of Bioplastics are reducing our carbon footprint; they do not contain non-renewable raw materials such as oil. Additionally, they will minimize non-biodegradable waste and do not add any harmful additives to consumption compared to human-made derivates of plastics currently mass produced.
Plastic Into Compost?
In the National Geographic Video, they show the insects and microorganisms eating the biodegradable plastics. There is a difference in plastics some biodegradable plastics are not compostable. The difference between compostable products when they break down they release valuable nutrients into the soil. Can we eliminate the harmful effects of single-use plastics on our food supply and the earth with compostable plastics?
Single Use Plastics
The mass amount of single-use plastics such as straws and plastic bags are overwhelming our oceans, rivers, landfills and, Earth. I go into pollution on the blog post of Pope Francis’s Letter. In that letter, Pope Francis describes the throw-away culture of what we have become. We need to Recycle, Reuse and Compost!
How much plastics can we eliminate by growing our produce or by buying locally at farms where there’s no need for plastic packaging? By carrying our reusable bags? How much can we eliminate by switching to Bioplastics? Probably, A lot but is it enough?
We need to have a GLOBAL GOAL to replace ALL plastics with renewable and biodegradable products completely. Additionally, to solve the throwaway culture problem we need to adapt to a permaculture lifestyle. Only when we make that change, will the plastic problem be resolved as all of our problems. As Geoff Lawton teaches: “You can solve all the world’s problem in a garden.” All other solutions are just temporary.