Now that we have your attention with the steamy title, let’s get real. This won’t be an article on nudism (as attractive as it might seem).
The biggest pollution-related crises the world has been facing for the past fifty years has to be the consequences of our overdependence on plastic. Where plastic saves money and, in cases like fruit packaging, prevents trees from getting cutting down (apple packaging is one of the biggest cause of deforestation), it causes pollution for thousands of years. Despite being an extremely cheap and easily available material, this non-biodegradable product causes a threat to all forms of life on the planet. Our man-made plastic fibers have reached the deepest chasms of the sea and is being ingested by the creatures living there. The sea is now nothing but dumping ground.
And unsurprisingly enough, there is an actual ‘continent of plastic’ about the size of Texas that has been haunting the North Pacific for quite a few years. Besides that, animals like cormorants and sea turtles and dolphins often get the worst of this brunt, with plastic accumulating in their bodies or worse, choking them then and there.
Thinner plastics are the most responsible for this, things like non-reusable straws and the cling films you use to cook your cakes and pack your vegetables.
To help with the latter, the so-called ‘nude shopping’ is rising to become a thing in countries like New Zealand.
What is nude shopping?
Supermarkets in New Zealand have started selling three times the number of vegetables they used to, according to the NZ Herald, thanks to this venture. They have simply ditched plastic films and other forms of packaging dresses for their greens.
The chain ‘New World’ has been a pioneer when it comes to labeling food as ‘in the nude’, which first started at their Bishopdale, Christchurch shop.
The biggest stars of this have been the green onion, silver beets, and radishes. The aim of the endeavor was two-fold. One: dispensing with plastic packaging and two: to not deprive people of the fresh earthy, citrusy veggie-market smells and touches.
The war on plastics has been a long one, but happy news that most supermarkets have stopped distributing them and the Ardern government has started an initiative to phase them out by July 1st.
Thanks to their extremely cheap pricing and mass production, single-use plastics have become a menace. Out of the 300 million tonnes produced a year, only 9% is recyclable.
This new concept has been inspired by the idea used by Whole Foods in the US where Nigel Bond, the owner, went on a study tour. Impressed, he came back and implemented it in NZ’s New World. About nine of the New Worlds have implemented it in the South Island of the small country down under.
All of this boils down to consumer responsibility. In this war on plastic, we are all taking a part. So, we should ask ourselves this big and very basic question: am I recycling enough plastic for me?
The answer is clear and simple no. And don’t think you would be the only one doing such introspections; Tasty, Buzzfeed’s very own cooking show division quite frequently ‘challenges’ its producers to cook with zero waste: especially no cling film.
If we are to save this world from ending, we need an inner jolt. As civilization is getting choked on plastic, we need to strategize and work together for a common cause like PETA does for wildlife. Show more and more people what their share of the waste does to the planet. Show them more and more cues of animals getting choked on things that can easily be reused.
Only when they have guilt and disgust towards such wasteful behavior can there be a positive change.
And most important of all, take up recycling and make it a point to demand recycled plastic if you can’t do without plastic. Landfilling helps no one. But it does forward the inevitable and eventual end of the planet. Instead, go for things that do matter and that will make a difference: things like reusable straws, reusable bags, etc.
Let’s learn from New Zealand’s example. After all, it is a war we have half-lost but if we try, we can win the rest of it. Because, in the end, it is our very own blue planet which is at stake.
Featured Image Credit: NZherald.co.nz