Why we need to forget eco-friendly alternatives.

So we all know it now, disposable nappies are bad for landfill, wipes contain plastic, we should all have cloths around the kitchen that can be washed after use. We get it, we know it’s all bad. But hang on, you can buy eco- alternatives. This is great, Detol says theirs are 100% biodegradable and still kill 99% of germs. You can also buy eco-friendly nappies, so although a little more expensive that’s going to save a ton of washing. They are constantly looking for plastic alternative so soon we will all be able to buy bottles of water again without feeling guilty and life will be great again, this is the solution to all of our problems right? WRONG.

The problem with single use plastic is not just that it’s made of plastic but the fact that’s it’s SINGLE USE.

Since I started this (dare I say it) “journey” (for want of a better word) I’ve come to realise the plastic is far from the main problem. Although I still strive to use as little as possible when it comes to plastic, I’ve come to realise that even paper alternatives aren’t great, because what we need to realise it that all the products we use have a carbon footprint of their own. It was produced somewhere, it took resources to produce it, then to package it, then to ship it, for you to then buy it and bring it home, to use it for a what? A matter of days? Hours? Seconds? Most likely.

So it’s not just about where your rubbish ends up, in landfill or the sea but the damaging effects it has on our world to get to you.

And this is where sometimes plastic isn’t always the bad guy, although it pains me to say it.

Take carrier bags for example. In a study carried out by SAGE (sound advice for green Earth) they found that a paper bag needs to be reused at least 3 times in order to neutralise its carbon footprint compared to plastic because it uses 4 times more water to produce. Paper of course also means cutting down trees. A cotton reusable bag needed to be reused a whooping 131 times to neutralise its carbon footprint because cotton, as I’ve explained in a previous pomst about Fast Fashion has many damaging factors.

So there really is no easy answer, other to make sure you reuse any bag you have as much as possible and buy strong one that will last, weather that be plastic, hemp, bamboo or cotton. Of course in my opinion we should still avoid plastic where possible because of its after effects and the fact that it’s difficult to recycle.

And therefore I’m going to say thanks for no thanks to the “green washing” solutions companies are producing, because of course they still want to make a profit, and I’ll keep on reusing my nappies, and wipes, and cloths, and make up pads, and my moon cup because at the end of the day if nothing else I like them all.

As always something to think about,

Hannah x

Sources.

https://stanfordmag.org/contents/paper-plastic-or-reusable