Editorial: alternatives to single use plastics

One of the best things about my job as a writer is that I learn so much about all sorts of topics just by doing research for an article. The beginning of this process is often quite daunting, as sometimes I know literally nothing about a topic before diving in.

But, often I learn things that I know will stay with me. This edition is one of those times.

This month, I learnt a lot about the harms of single use plastic on our world. I mean, I knew it was bad, but did you know that plastic is being found in even the most remote, untouched parts of our beautiful planet? Microbeads and microfibres are something I had never even considered as an issue before. Our ecosystems are full of plastic, so much so that it can be detected in our own bodies!

Of course there’s nothing like something affecting me personally to get me motivated to act, right?

After discovering all this, I started talking to a friend about it, who introduced me to the awesome innovation of pasta straws. Yep, drinking straws made from dried pasta. I’ve used paper straws, which fall apart almost instantly, and reusable straws always seem to end up slimy and gross in my house. But pasta straws, well they’re single use, they last for hours, and they breakdown easily  and safely.

This got me thinking that there must be more smart people out there making alternatives to single use plastic – and there is!

I also found someone supplying edible cutlery that can be used once and either eaten or thrown away to safely decompose. It even comes in three different flavours.

Boomerang Bags not only use recycled fabric as an alternative to plastic shopping bags, but they also create community as people spend time together making them, and giving them away for  free.

In fact, there are heaps of cool ideas people are coming up with as alternatives to single use plastic. We don’t have to go without things; we can just do it better. It’s likely that people are always going to want single use items, but do they really have to be made out of such a precious resource as plastic? As lots of creative people are proving: no, they don’t.

Personally, I’m looking forward to sipping my cocktail from a pasta straw. My only challenge will be trying not to chew the end.

Heather Dowling
Editor, Revive magazine

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