Friday, June 8, 2012

Say No To Plastic

"It is hard not to use plastic,
But it is easy to use less"

Look around you and count the number of plastic stuff you manage to spot. According to the Beverage Marketing Corp, the average American consumed 1.6 gallons of bottled water in 1976. Three decades later, in 2006, that number jumped to 28.3 gallons. That is just America alone. How about the rest of the world?

There has been a lot of campaigns to urge the public in reducing the usage of plastic in their daily life. Recently, I came across an interesting awareness campaign organised by 5gyres at the entrance of Yoyogi Park, Tokyo. 5gyres is a non-profit organisation dedicated to stopping the flow of plastic to our oceans through education, research and actionable solutions. 

The group of participants in the awareness campaign. 
Each of them wore an unique costumes designed using believe it or not, trash collected from the ocean.
The participants were clad in costumes made entirely from trash collected from the ocean, which includes plastic bags, light bulbs, lighter and even soft toys.

On one hand, it was amazing to see that how these trash were creatively converted into beautiful and colourful costumes. On the other hand, it was indeed an eye-opener to realise that we have been dumping these unused stuff into the ocean, without realising its danger to the ocean life and environment.

A colourful skirt made of snacks plastic wrappers. 


 Another version of skirt, for winter season perhaps?

It is made entirely of soft toys. Imagine if the Tasmanian Devil is alive haha!

We Use & Lose Plastic
Our "throw away" culture burns, buries, exports or recycles billions of pounds of plastic. The rest is lost to sea, made to last, designed to trash.

It Travels To All Oceans
Sunlight reduces plastic to confetti, which now covers 25% of our planet's surface in the center of all 5 gyres. Gyres are circular current systems in the oceans.

Marine Life Suffers
Over 300 species are entangled in or ingest plastic waste. It is responsible to make throwaway products that do not break down in the environment.

We Are Plasticised
Plastics absorbs other pollutants (DDT, pesticides, oil) and release them when ingested. What is winding up on your dinner plate?

One of the participant explaining about the head costume to the cameraman.

Plastic is FOREVER! Get Involved!

  • Choose real silverware and trays for school lunches. 
  • Ban plastic bottles on campus. 
  • Pack a ZERO WASTE lunch. 
  • Save & protect your health.

  • Bring back the water cooler. 
  • Take back your used products.
  • Start a ZERO WASTE policy and let others know about it.

  • Don't cook/nuke food on plastic.
  • Use wax paper to pick up after pets. 
  • Avoid toxic cleaning products. 
  • Compost & Recycle.

  • Encourage your cafe/restaurants to offer discounts for reusable. 
  • Start a bag or bottle ban. 
  • Bring back public drinking water fountains. 
  • Vote to install storm drain grates.
Having a photo with the group of ang moh participants.

This campaign was also joined by a few Japanese.
Here are several easy things you can do today to make a big difference:
  • Refuse throwaway plastics.
  • Bring you own water bottle, reusable bag and coffee mug.
  • Say no to straws
  • Look for products in aluminum, glass or paper.
  • Leave excess packaging in the store.
  • Ask for take-out in foil, paper or bring a container.
  • Buy dry versus wet detergents, soaps, shampoo bars - in paper or a box.
  • Buy products in bulk. Avoid over-packaged, processed foods.
  • Share this with a friend.

So, think twice before you consume another piece of plastic bag next time!

Remember, using less plastic saves money and protects all living things, including you! For more info, visit

No comments: