by Flora Bescansa Luers
Since 1950, humans have created 8.3 billion tons of plastic, with 6.3 billion tons of that being trash. Imagine 55 million jumbo jets for reference. Nowadays, mainstream knowledge of plastic’s downsides is known. From contaminated air, contaminated soil, microplastics in our food, there’s a lot to be conscientious of. But what are some alternative perspectives and what are some solutions? And where does Peeq fit into this ecosystem of waste? One final thing to consider before diving in is cardboard use and recycling, and how it compares to plastics.
Although there are 7 broad categories of plastic, there are thousands of different types of plastic, each with different types of composition and uses. Plastics 1, 2 and 5 are the most easily recyclable (Polyethylene Terephthalate - water bottles, plastic trays, Peeq’s cleanser bottles; High Density Polyethylene - milk cartons and shampoo bottles; and Polypropylene - margarine tubs and ready-meal trays, respectively). Regardless of the possibility of recycling these plastics, the reality is that recycling is inefficient and often undesirable, with only 8.7% of all plastic waste being recycled in 2018 in the US.
In comparison, corrugated cardboard has a better outlook. Approximately 46 million tons of paper and paperboard were recycled in 2018 for a recycling rate of 68.2 percent, which was the highest compared to other materials in municipal solid waste. For corrugated boxes, there was an even higher recycling rate of 96.5 percent in 2018. When you receive a box from Peeq, we encourage you to recycle it, or if you desire, compost it or re-use it.
One reason why plastics are so ubiquitous is that they serve many purposes and fill certain needs for different groups of people. Plastics are lightweight, less prone to breaking as opposed to materials like glass, they can be made flexible and adaptable, and can keep things sanitary in certain uses, like for medical tools or food storage. Plastics are also key for accessibility: economic accessibility for those who use plastic in consumer products and daily use items, as well as housing materials; disability accessibility, for those who need single-use straws to take medications or for ease of drinking, or who need lightweight non-breakable items to go about their daily lives.
So, what is Peeq’s position on plastics, cardboard, and how does recycling fit it? Plastics and cardboard are both key to how Peeq operates and how the products get to you. To help mitigate the impacts of these materials, recycle, re-use or compost your boxes and paper packaging, and recycle your cleanser bottles. In general, be mindful of your single-use plastic use and avoid it if possible, and practice the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle.
https://cdrnys.org/blog - Grasping at straws, the ableism of the straw ban
https://www.epa.gov - Paper and paperboard: material-specific data
https://recyclecoach.com - 7 revealing plastic waste statistics (2021_
https://www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com - Types of plastics, how many types of plastics are there
www.slrecyclingltd.co.uk - What plastics can and cannot be recycled
https://thisisplastics.com - Plastics role in social justice and equity