It’s almost upon us, that time of the year when extravagance gets a boost to add not only to profit margins, but also sadly the ever-growing mountain of garbage in the form of plastic wrappers and the like. A symbolic Christmas tree containing balls of creamy chocolate comes packaged in layers of plastic arranged around a ‘tree’ made of plastic encased in a hard plastic cone shape. The weight of the packaging was greater than that of the foil wrapped chocolate contents. Talk about over the top. This is but one of numerous examples, those concerned about the excesses displayed in the name of giving happiness and goodwill, have to contend with as they go about their gift giving selections.
To counter this onslaught of consumerism, the folks behind I’M PLASTIC FREE are making an effort to provide alternatives for those interested in leaving less of a mess post the Christmas holiday season.
While this story is motivated by reducing waste this Christmas, the sentiment applies to all occasions – they are not limited to a particular period or time of year. It just so happens that Christmas is the ultimate example of wastefulness, producing what is dubbed the biggest waste dump of the year.
In, Sustainable Giving – A gift for nature, the authors write: “With approximately 30 per cent more waste produced at this time of year, now is the perfect time to start being more sustainable, if you haven’t already.”
I’M PLASTIC FREE is a free platform to find eco services and products for consumers and businesses and provides up-to-date independent research – no greenwashing – and information for living more sustainably and ethically.
‘If every person made one or two easy changes using eco-friendly materials instead of single-use plastics, the impact would be enormous,’ says founder, Simona Paganetto. ‘Reuse and repurpose are first, so there’s no waste, but when it’s time to replace your item, we provide a platform that makes finding and choosing an alternative easy.
At Christmas, this can really add up. Australians use an average of eight metres of paper for Christmas gifts. That might not sound like much, but it adds up to around 150,000 kilometres of wrapping paper. Enough to circumnavigate the globe four times.
‘We’re talking about something that is just ripped away and discarded, and if it’s got any type of foil or shine on it, it can’t be recycled,’ says Simona. ‘Don’t forget the ribbon and tinsel too, which are made from plastic.’
Get the full story here: Sustainable giving