On October 24, 2018, The European Union Parliament voted to ban various single-use plastics to combat the massive plastic problem harming our world's oceans and the creatures that live in them.
Currently, The World Economic Forum estimates that 90 percent of the world’s plastic waste settles in the ocean and that currently there are 50 million tons of plastic in the world’s oceans that could take centuries to degrade. This year the Forum also warned that by 2050, there would be more plastic than fish in weight in oceans. Furthermore, because many fish and birds consume these plastics, the increase of micro-plastics floating in our oceans as well as in human beings has increased immensely.
Although ambitious, The EU's decision on prohibition is necessary as the only way to fight plastic pollution is to reduce the world's consumption. This directive will not only protect the marine environment and coastlines but will reduce the costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe, estimated 22 billion euros by 2030.
Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, said, "It is past time that we tackle the plastic problem that blights our oceans. Plastic pollution is surfing onto Indonesian beaches, settling onto the ocean floor at the North Pole, and rising through the food chain onto our dinner tables. We’ve stood by too long as the problem has gotten worse. It must stop."
Leaving plastic behind and finding alternatives that are not detrimental to our planet has also become significantly accessible in our growing world. By doing those small steps that are achievable such as switching to a reusable water bottle, opting for paper, metal, or bamboo straws, and even using a biodegradable toothbrush like Humble Brush can make all the difference. As a planet, we can together make a monumental change to save our oceans, animals, and ourselves.
Can we change our ways of production and consumption? Can we help provide oral care products to those that need it most? The answer is yes!’ – Noel Abdayem, Founder & CEO, The Humble Co.