Plastic Is Our Undying Obsession, What Can We Do About It?

It’s no secret that humanity has a passion for plastics in everyday life. However, did you know that plastic has become a common condiment in your daily meals? In fact, the World Economic Forum states that we ingest about a credit card worth of microplastics each week.

we're ingesting a credit card's worth of microplastic each week
Every single week, we ingest about 5 grammes of microplastic. That’s equivalent to the weight of a credit card!
Image by Kay from Unsplash

It’s in our food, in our drinking water, it’s even in the salt we consume. In ancient times, people would defecate in their local water source due to ignorance. Today, we do the same thing except with plastics. When is this contamination going to stop?

Simply refusing straws is just not enough. We have to start refusing as much plastic as we can. Recycling is great, but frankly, we’re just not good at it. Research by University of Oxford states that only 20% of plastic waste is recycled. Instead of going out of our way to visit a recycling centre, why not start by refusing plastic and nip the issue in the bud?

Bit By Bit

Of course, I’m not saying we should all start making protest signs and start screaming at business owners for using plastic. What we can do is to start refusing plastic. Once we reduce the demand for plastic, the supply will dwindle.

It’s as simple as saying no. We can all start small by bringing our own containers and cutlery for takeaways at restaurants. Keep a recycle bag in your purse or backpack for any impulse shopping. In addition to that, we can start making informed decisions by reading up on the lesser known sources of plastic and try to avoid purchasing them.

Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot
Remember being taught to reuse, reduce, recycle? Well, here are a few more R’s in the sequence of how you should practise them.

Practising Plastic Refusal Imperfectly

It’s only normal to use a plastic cup or buy a polyester shirt from time to time. Nobody’s perfect. It’s important to know that the world doesn’t need a handful of people refusing plastic perfectly, it needs everyone doing it imperfectly. Reading up on impacts of plastic, trying your best to make the best decision – it makes a huge difference. After all, it is better than nothing.

Plastic Planet

Refusing plastic sounds cool until you walk into a supermarket and everything is packaged in plastic, even the fresh produce! So what do we do? Now is the time to pop in to a zero waste store near you.

plastic packaging prevalent in modern supermarkets
Plastic containers are used to package most products at typical supermarkets. Plastic containers are not inherently bad, but using them once and disposing them can definitely harm the environment. If you have to buy something in plastic packaging, you can. Just reuse it as many times as you can before recycling it!
Image by Kurt Cotoaga from Unsplash

If you haven’t been to one before, it’s basically a sundry shop filled with your daily necessities sans plastic packaging. Their mantra is to reduce wastage as a whole, which includes plastic waste. All you have to do is bring your containers, glass jars, recycle bags, and do your grocery shopping using the containers you brought.

Why You Should Shop At A Zero Waste Shop?

Other than reducing single-use plastic, zero waste shops are especially great if you need a small amount of a certain item. For instance, if you want to give overnight oats a try but don’t want to buy an entire bag of oats, you can just bring your jars to the shop and weigh out exactly how much you need. This way, you don’t have to throw out a bag of oats if you end up being too lazy to make overnight oats. Less food wastage, no plastic used, a win-win!

Generally, the prices of items sold are comparable to supermarkets. If you’re living alone and don’t need much of each item anyway, the price will definitely be more affordable as prices are set according to weight of the food item. Buy less, pay less.

a range of spices without plastic packaging
Looking to get a certain spice but you’ll most likely only use it once or twice? Get it by weight at a zero waste shop!

Aside from food items, you can also get personal care from the zero waste shops. We’re talking skincare in reusable jars, reusable cloth pads and menstrual cups, metal straws and cutlery, safety razors, whatever you need to transition to a zero waste lifestyle.

Bamboo toothbrushes, safety razors, reusable cotton rounds, and wooden cotton sticks are just examples of what you can get at a zero waste store
Switch your disposable personal care items to greener options. Your wallet and the environment will thank you!

Zero Waste Outside Of The Major City

If you’re Malaysian and staying in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, I’m thoroughly jealous of you. You guys are spoiled for choice when it to comes to zero waste shops as most of them are concentrated in your neighbourhood. But for the handful of people staying in Shah Alam, Selangor, I have great news for you: we now have a zero waste shop right at your backyard!

Seedy Zero Waste Store shopfront
If you’re out looking for a Zero Waste store in Shah Alam, Selangor, this is how Seedy looks like!

Open for business since June 2019, Seedy Zero Waste Store (“Seedy”) has been providing the locals with plastic free lifestyle options, as well as educating the locals on how to slowly transition to a zero waste lifestyle.

Plastic-Free Alternatives You Can Opt For

Seedy has three sections in their store: food, lifestyle, and household items. The food section is stocked with a wide variety of options from rice and noodles to biscuits and oats.They even have a sulphur-free range of responsibly sourced Chinese ingredients. If you’re looking for Chinese ingredients like red dates, Lo Han Guo (罗汉果), and chrysanthemum, Seedy is where you need to be.

Sulphur free Chinese ingredients at Seedy
Sulphur-free Chinese ingredients at Seedy, available sans plastic packaging.

In the lifestyle section, they have all the usual personal care items. For example, they have skincare, cosmetics, bamboo toothbrushes, wooden cotton sticks, reusable cotton rounds- the works. Seedy will keep you looking good without harming Mother Earth.

the range of skincare Seedy offers
Seedy carries a wide range of skincare products ranging from makeup remover to sunscreen.

I you’re low on body wash, dish soap, or any household cleaner, you can drop by Seedy’s household section. Of course, you’re encouraged to reuse your existing plastic bottles to fill up just the right amount of household cleaners to use around your house.

household soaps
Just bring your old containers or existing plastic packaging from used up products and get them filled!
body soaps, shampoos, and castile soap- all without plastic packaging
They have all the soaps, guys. From floor cleaners to body soap, you’re all set.

Purchase With A Purpose

All things considered, plastic waste, alongside other types of wastage should be reduced as much as possible. Every action counts, and your money matters. Purchase with a purpose, shop sustainably.

Shop sustainably and avoid single-use plastic packaging by bringing and reusing your own containers
Shop sustainably and avoid single-use plastic packaging by bringing and reusing your own containers.

If you agree and want to do your part by embarking on the journey to zero waste, do drop by Seedy Zero Waste Shop at Kota Kemuning. At the same time, they’re also on Facebook and Instagram, so do ‘like’ and ‘follow’ them for latest updates on the products they carry.

All in all, our decisions today can directly impact the outcome of tomorrow. If we care about our children, why are we condemning them to a world of waste and toxic pollution? Starting today, we have to be the change we want to see in the world.

This article is part of Espoletta’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives.

About Sabrina CHONG

Journalism graduate who jumped ship to the world of corporate communication, Sabrina is sweet and sassy, but brutally honest when expressing herself. Her polished corporate exterior hides a passionate personality, with interests that range from girly topics to geeky tech speak.

3 Replies to “Plastic Is Our Undying Obsession, What Can We Do About It?”

  1. Pingback: Kohl: The Eyeliner Which Was Thought To Be Poison - Espoletta

  2. Misconception that the public have is that Bring your own containers toiletries are natural products. There’s no ingredients indicated, and with the colourful toiletries its highly doubtful that these are natural. It makes things worse the store owners blatantly informed their customers that it’s natural. Maybe, but to what extent, it’s natural… the definition of natural is very vague, is a 10% natural ingredient considered as natural?
    Just something that’s bothering me for a while already…..

    • Hi Gloria, thanks for the question!

      To clarify, the skincare line that Seedy carries is The Mineraw. All ingredients used in their products are listed in each individual bottle. At the same time, they have the complete list of ingredients they use as a brand listed on their website. You can click the link below if you’d like to know more about their skincare range.

      As for their body soaps and shampoos, Seedy has different suppliers for each specific product. If you’d like to get a detailed list of ingredients of each product, you can always contact them using the contact info below.

      Phone: 014-338 3890

      We hope this helps to elaborate to what extent the products are natural. Keep in mind that our main goal here is to not promote chemicals nor natural products, but more so of lessening wastage in forms of trash, food, resources, etc. Regardless, we appreciate your interest in the zero waste lifestyle.

      Have a great day ahead!

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