Unless we do something about it, single-use plastic products are going to be the death of our planet. The number of plastic straws we dispose of every day alone can strangle the planet twice over. Literally. Although the problem seems insurmountable, we all know what the solution is: refuse, reuse, reduce, recycle.
Overview of the plastic problem
To help you understand just how serious the plastic problem is, the National Geographic did an in-depth article, breaking down the plastic problem by the numbers. First of all, it’s important to note that we began mass-producing plastic in the 1950’s, so this problem has become astronomical in a very short period of time. Hopefully, we can turn it around just as quickly.
Since the 1950’s we have produced 9.2 billion tons of plastic, and 6.9 billions tons of it has gone to waste. Tragically, less than 10% of plastic waste has been recycled. That means that 6.3 billion tons of plastic are still floating around, on land or in the sea, and we’re piling on more and more every day.
Plastic in the ocean
We are all losers in this game, but the ocean and marine-life are taking a huge brunt of the burden. Scientist estimate that the ocean ends up serving as a final resting place for as much as 14 million tons of plastic a year. Plastic pollution has gravely affected up to 700 species of marine animals. It would be easy to place the blame on pollution from the shipping industry, but the plastic problem is everybody’s fault.
Solution to the plastic problem
The plastic problem is global, but we all play a part locally to solve the problem. The solution is simple, we need to eliminate single-use plastic products and start to dispose of the plastic we already have in a responsible fashion. It’s not hard, we just have to do it.
- Refuse- Choose items that are not packaged in plastic, and carry your own bags, containers.
- Reduce– It’s important reduce or completely eliminate single-use plastic products.
- Reuse– Get a reusable water bottle, thermos, to-go cup, straw, etc.
- Recycle– There is some discrepancy about how long it takes for plastic to biodegrade. Some say 450 years, others say never. Regardless, we need to make sure that all plastic products that we dispose of are recycled. It’s the responsible thing to do and will make the biggest impact on our environment.
Eliminating the plastic straw
There are several campaigns aimed at eliminating the plastic straw to make a significant reduction in our plastic problem. Every day, we waste enough plastic straws to wrap around the earth 2.5 times!! Switching to reusable straws or paper straws will make a big impact on the entire planet.
Pacuare’s Commitment to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic From the Lodge
The core of our rainforest lodge is sustainability. We are eager to accept the challenge and do our part to eliminate single-use plastics.
- Ten years ago, Pacuare Lodge stopped using single-use plastic bottles at the lodge. Guests must bring their own or they can buy a reusable water bottle upon arrival. On rafting trips, we provide water for our guests in reusable bottles.
- Fresh, clean tap water. The tap water at the lodge is fresh uncontaminated spring water that is safe to drink and refill your water bottles.
- We do NOT have plastic straws at Pacuare Lodge. Cocktails and other beverages are served in the appropriate glass, without a plastic straw.
- We never use single-use plastic shopping bags. When we shop for produce and other products for our restaurant and hospitality, we always bring or own reusable shopping bags. But first, most of our ingredients are grown and harvested on our farm, or sourced from local farmers in the neighboring villages.