This ban was the result of a lot of hard work by a large group of people who constantly petitioned, lobbied and made sure their voices were heard, from Fauna & Flora International and Greenpeace UK to the Environmental Investigation Agency and the Marine Conservation Society. All Naturals as being in support of the ban, helping to ensure the natural beauty concerns were noted over last four years.
The danger now, of course is if we acknowledge our big old pat on the back and then carry on as normal. The reality is that this issue is of epic proportions – mind -boggling, devastatingly large proportions. An estimated eight million tonnes of plastic is being swept into our oceans and seas every single day. This has been cited as being the equivalent of over 26,600 Boeing 747 planes. While the ban of plastic microbeads is huge leap for our industry, not to mention the planet, it is not going make much of dent in the side of monolithic plastic iceberg just on its own.
To truly make a difference, a seismic lifestyle shift is required whereby plastic bags, bottles, packaging-in fact, any single -use plastic object- is made redundant.
Plant-based plastics and recycled materials are definite step in the right direction, but unless we as world drastically change our dependency on convenience and our desire for disposable objects, nothing much will really change.
Beach and ocean clean-up projects are underway around the world. There are some incredible charities at work right this moment – Plastic Oceans, GreenSeas Trust, Waste Free Oceans- that are enabling change on global scale. With government support it might just be possible to turn the plastic juggernaut around and preserve a future filled with clean waters, natural wildlife and beauty for generations to come. Just maybe.
It is estimated that there is around one piece of micro-plastic to every two plankton in our waters, which leads to the grave reality that plastic is not just clog-going our seas and killing wildlife, it is very much in our food chain, too.
Whether it is the food or beauty industry that spurs you into action, change needs to happen.
All Naturals message is simple. Start of small and let it snowball. We are all quite good at recycling household waste, but what if the product was not there to recycle in the first place? Starting from now, try to make a difference. Swap from plastic to glass or paper box, buy natural and organic where is possible, do not buy what you do not need, if it is broken fix it.