by Taetske | 5:38 pm
(Last Updated On: February 3, 2020)

 

The worldwide plastic bottle problem

 

Old advertisement for Coca Cola

An old advertisement for Coca Cola

 

When I go shopping I bring my own bags and use them week after week until they completely fall apart. Like that you save on plastic shopping bags. In the supermarkets, small plastic bags are available for fruit and vegetables and they are good because they are lightweight and clear so the counter person can identify what is inside.

Until recently, I would use these bags and reuse them at home. Now, both of the major supermarket chains in our area, Aldi and Lidl, introduced new bags that are biodegradable and I think this is a big step forward.

We seldom buy anything drinkable in plastic bottles as we love wine and the few juices that are bought each year normally come in cartons, the same as the coconut milk we buy. I am aware that along with plastic bags, plastic bottles form one of the biggest challenges our world has to face.

 

Plastic does not disintegrate

All that plastic does not decompose rapidly and forms a real-life hazard to birds and sea animals. Scientists have put out a warning that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

The fact that there is so much plastic really makes one wonder what direction this all will take. An article on the online web page of National Geographic reported that a plastic bag similar to the ones in the grocery stores was found at the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench. This is at a depth of 11 km, which means plastic is literally everywhere.

This needs to stop and the data is very worrying, to say the least. Fish feed on the microplastic, which seems to be everywhere, and then we eat this fish. I suppose you get the picture. Plastic in our food is really harmful to our health.

 

Plastic bottles causing pollution on the beach

Plastic bottles causing pollution on the beach

 

Plastic bottles in numbers

Did you know that in America people consume around 167 bottles of water per year? That is a lot of bottles but that is not the only important fact you need to know about plastics, here is more data on plastic bottles.

When you take into consideration that a bottle takes 700 years to decompose, one can understand that an urgent solution is needed. When you buy a bottle of water, 90% of the price you pay is for the bottle, not the water. In case the water your community provides is not very good, how about protesting so your house water becomes more palatable than bottled water? I think we have a right to good potable water.

Just imagine the positive impact if we would not buy bottled water anymore. It would surely help.

 

More sources for plastic bottles

Coca Cola is a brand known worldwide. What most people try to ignore is it is extremely bad for your health.

Here you can see a cute YouTube video explaining why drinking Coca Cola is bad for you.
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On January 29, 1893, Coca Cola, a company in Atlanta, Georgia, USA launched its first product. In 1985 as competition grew with Pepsi, the company changed its formula and the drink was called New Coke. This was the first time that any change to the original recipe occurred. People did not like it and that is why after only 79 days, the company went back to its original recipe.

 

Coca Cola glass bottle

Coca Cola glass bottle

 

What is in Coca Cola

Now, this is funny data. 90% of this drink is water. Then comes Phosphoric acid, caramel food coloring (E150d) and the natural flavorings (which include coca leaf extract.) Wikipedia describes what this phosphoric acid is.  The coca leaf extract used in Coca Cola does not contain cocaine but it did up till 1903.

Its origin seems to have been a Spanish drink by the name Kola Coca, which was presented at a contest in Philadelphia in 1885. The rights to this drink were bought by Coca Cola in 1953.  Here you can read why a village in Spain, claims to be the inventor.
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Coca Cola and its impact on the environment

To drink Coca Cola is up to you. It is not good for your health but some people remain addicted to the taste. We should look at the Coca Cola company from a different angle to understand the impact it has on the environment. Sadly that impact is big. I had no idea it was that bad. Here come some data you might not be aware of.

In old times this drink was served in glass bottles of different sizes. The glass was recyclable and people would get money for the empty glass bottle. Plastic PET bottles made its big entree in 1993, plastic is a lot lighter so a delivery truck could transport more of the beverage.

Even if the company is reluctant to reveal data, some things have become known. The following information, reported in 2018, made me think. Approximately one-fifth of all PET bottles produced in the world are Coca Cola bottles. That means some 180 thousand-million.

There are too many plastic bottles in landfills or floating in the ocean. Coca Cola shares a big part of the blame. I have never been a fan of this drink. I might consume one or 2 a year. As I said at the beginning of this post, I like a glass of wine instead.

 

Recycle bins on the street

Recycle bins on the street

 

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Thanks to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 31 companies have revealed important data. Big companies like Nestle, Unilever, and Danone have voluntarily reported the amount of plastic their companies produce.

  • Nestle 1.7 tonnes of plastic
  • Unilever 610 thousand tonnes
  • Danone 750 thousand tonnes

It is not easy to convince big companies to come and report the scope of their plastic contamination. 150 companies have joined the foundation. Companies like Burberry, L.Oreal, Walmart, Marks & Spencer, Pepsi Co, and H&M. Some of these companies were heavily criticized for reporting this data because it could negatively impact the product’s finances. But it is very important that companies reveal their contamination rate. Then steps can be taken to reduce and/or find different ways of packaging their product.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation says we have to come away from a linear economy. That means we take-make-waste. It is necessary to change how we make decisions. When a product is in the designing phase,  that is the moment for the impact of the product on the environment to be determined. More care and thought has to be put into this.

To give the material a second or third use is preferable, instead of just throwing it away. This new system is called a circular economy and will help the planet to recover from the abuse it has suffered in the past. Our environment would be cleaner, fauna and flora can recuperate, and people would be able to live a healthier life.

To recycle and make new things like Tiny Houses is fantastic. Read this book by author Ryan Mitchell. It is packed with helpful tips on how to use recycled materials and build a home that is ecofriendly. If you are not born with 2 left hands this is your book, give it a try.

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Conclusion

Our actions determine the world we live in. It will affect our health and our happiness. I hope you see this post as food for thought.

I have made a page with Recommendations for you, please have a look.

 

Source: The website La Voz del Despertar which means The wakeup voice.

Photo Source: Pixabay

 

In the following post, you can read how microscopic particles of plastic can get into your body. Living plastic-free can do wonders for your health. We really should be conscious of what all this plastic means for our health, life and the planet.

Plastic And Participating In The Global Climate Strike

Comments

Pari Rajput

Well, thanks Taetske for sharing such good knowledge with us. You are doing a good job to keep the city clean and I would like to share this article with my friends because everyone needs to be aware of this. The way you explained the concept of keeping the city pollution free is awesome. 

Feb 04.2020 | 07:15 am

    Taetske

    Good Morning Pari,

    Having 2 websites has made me more conscious of what happens in our world. I would say it has broadened my horizon. We have an obligation towards Mother Earth, we have to care for her so that future generations also have a beautiful planet to live their life on.

    At the moment we are definitely doing a poor job. If all people would just do a little it would make a big difference.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 04.2020 | 12:42 pm

Mark

Hi and thanks for this eye-popping article Taetske. You refer to the circular economy compared to the linear one we live in reminds me of an environmental scientist I once listened to. He said something to the effect that nature has perfected the art of regeneration by ensuring that the waste from one system is the raw material that the next needs. That way nothing ever goes to waste! Nature is indeed a marvel!

The figures you share on the number of plastic companies produce are astounding! And the fact that microplastic has now made its way into fish is shocking! I’d always imagined that fish that roam the oceans or vast lakes had sufficient ‘space’ to escape the plastic invasion. It now all turns out to be wishful thinking on my part…

Thanks too for sharing your tips like recycling shopping bags. If we all did the same and stayed away from the coke, it would surely help current and future generations. On the whole, a touching and awakening read.

We are Blessed.

Feb 04.2020 | 08:04 am

    Taetske

    Good Morning Mark,

    Thank you for your nice comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    It needs some rethinking on our part to not always throw away things that seem to be no good anymore. I have written about plastic in the past and there are people in this world who make excellent things with bottles. A little boat, a light bulb, and even a whole house build with filled water bottles. Really great inventions, practical plus getting rid of the waste.

    It is, of course, crazy when knowing our pollution pollutes our food, it is high time we stop doing these things to our planet and our health.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 04.2020 | 12:36 pm

MrBiizy

Hello Taetske, thanks for sharing this post. I am sure if it gets out to a large number of people in the world and we take this to heart, life will only become better for us and everything in the world at large.

I have always known that when we buy a plastic bottle of water, a large fraction of the money we pay is for the plastic; we end up paying for what is dangerous for us and the world at large. I’ll do my best to avoid plastic bottle water and drinks henceforth.

I have friends, especially ladies that are fat! Ewww! they’re getting more fatter! 🤦🏽‍♂️ One thing I discovered common among them is they love taking soft drinks and sweet stuff. I have tried my best to limit these but it seems they’re addicted or so. It really makes me sad.

All this sweet stuff is not doing us any good but is rather harmful to our health. I am sure I’d be able to raise my kids on the right paths in all facets of life with the knowledge I have gotten so far.

Feb 04.2020 | 08:14 am

    Taetske

    Good Morning MrBiizy,

    Thank you for stopping by and for leaving a comment. Nice to see you again. Next time you visit would you tell me your name?

    I have come to understand that in general food or drinks made in a factory are not healthy. On top of it comes the very serious issue that all these wrappings, bottles and the likes pollute our environment which is our habitat.

    I just wonder why we have gotten ourselves into this mess. The situation needs some serious rethinking. I do hope you will be able to raise your children with a good understanding of what is healthy or not.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 04.2020 | 12:28 pm

      MrBiizy

      Oh Taetske, my name is Barry 😀

      Yes… What pains me the most is that we know we’re in a mess and we keep swimming in the mess.

      I think what we need is deep education on this… We need our eyes to be opened.

      Hopefully, by God’s grace, I’ll bring my children up knowing what’s healthy and what is not.

      Thanks!

      Feb 04.2020 | 01:21 pm

        Taetske

        Good afternoon Barry,

        Nice to know your name. Thank you for coming back to tell me.
        That is true. Sadly humans are so capable of making messes, it is a shame.
        Do not let your children get the habit of drinking Coca Cola as it is harmful to their health.

        Regards, Taetske

        Feb 04.2020 | 03:06 pm

          MrBiizy

          Thanks ma’am.

          Feb 04.2020 | 08:35 pm

          Taetske

          You are welcome, Barry.
          I hope you will visit again.

          Regards, Taetske

          Feb 05.2020 | 04:36 pm

KC

Great article. Most have no idea of the impact this plastic issue has and the horrific problems that are coming right around the corner. 8 Billion tons of plastic produced worldwide since it was created and all of that is still with us today in one form or the other. As you pointed out, it takes 700 years or longer for it to break down but by then the damage is done. Billions of marine animals are dying each year from ingesting micro/nanoparticles of plastic. Those particles are showing up in our food now and will have disastrous results on human physiology.
The TED talk presented here offers a reasonable solution that should work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5g9-4fx60A
I encourage everyone to visit https://noplasticwaste.org/ and sign the petition to get this process underway. It’s the most viable solution I have seen thus far for a problem waaay more urgent than any other environmental issue out there.

Feb 14.2020 | 01:32 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon KC,

    Thank you for your visit and for leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Plastic is a huge problem and I have written quite a few posts on this issue for both my websites. We are surrounded by it and we carry it in our body. How crazy is that? It seems we are not aware that all our actions carry consequences and that it will impact our health and habitat.

    You suggest a very good TED talk and I often use them for my posts. I will sign this petition just as I have joined bUnited which also will be able to promote big changes which are so urgently needed for our planet. The future generations would like to live their life in a clean environment and we are responsible that this will be possible.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 14.2020 | 03:12 pm

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