Since the first fully synthetic plastic was developed in 1907, it has become ubiquitous – in our forks, our bags, our clothes, and is one of the most common packaging materials today. The invention of plastic was a revelation, but its durability makes it almost impossible to decompose. As a result, plastic is everywhere. We use it in all aspects of our lives, even from our green cleaning products and green janitorial supplies.
But is plastic a green and sustainable practice? Where does it all go?
One of the biggest aspects of green sustainability is waste. Americans toss out 14 million tons of plastic every year, according to the Plastics Museum in Leominster, Massachusetts.
When we do not recycle, it ends up buried in landfills or floating on the ocean. An Ocean of Plastic story by CBS News emphasizes the amorphous, floating mass of waste that is trapped in a whirlpool-like current northeast of Hawaii. It is estimated that this garbage patch may contain as much as 100 million tons of debris. Even worse this area has doubled in the last decade and is now roughly twice the size of Texas! There are as many as five of these floating garbage patches in the world’s oceans.
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There is hope! As we talked about in the video, there are now construction projects made with recycled materials, such as the bridge in New Baltimore, New York. This was made from 68,000 gallon milk jugs mixed with fiberglass creating the first plastic bridge strong enough for cars! These are innovative and useful green sustainability oriented solutions to protect our planet for our future generations.
What Can You Do? Green Cleaning Solutions!
If you care about green sustainability, the next time you are ready to pitch a container; ask yourself, “Where is this likely to end up?” Do not add to the high volume of plastic by buying bottle after bottle of cleaners. Rather, focus on a sustainable strategy of buying your cleaning products in concentrated form and discarding only the small pouches. You can reduce the amount of waste generated by packaging since the reusable containers from Green Cleaning Products are designed to be refilled with a small concentrate packet and your own water.