21 Reasons Why 2021 Should Be the Year You Prioritize Reusables
January 11, 20213 min read
January 1 may not look all that different from December 31 in terms of temperature or what you had for breakfast, but the intentional reset to a new year is an important milestone each winter. As humans, temporal landmarks (like the start of the new year) offer a“fresh start effect”to pause, close a door, open a new one, or simply take a breath.
“I think most people want a second chance to improve the quality of their lives,” says Dennis Buttimer, M.Ed., CEAP, RYT, of Piedmont Healthcare in Georgia. “The New Year offers a blank slate — an opportunity to get things right.”
Now, especially after a year like 2020, is the time to renew and make sure our energies are focused in the right direction. At ChicoBag and To-Go Ware, we’re taking these first few weeks of 2021 to recommit to our intentions, refresh our ideas, and reinspire our team and customers.
To kick things off, we rounded up 21 staggering reasons why we believe in reusable products--and why 2021 should be the year we all #effsingleuse.
95% of plastic in the ocean originates from coastal cities, shipping, and fishing.
By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
Single-use plastic loses 95% of its value, worth up to $120 billion annually, every year.
Over the last 50 years, the production of plastic has increased by 20x.
There are an estimated 51 trillion microplastic particles in the ocean (500x the number of stars in the Milky Way).
Single-use plastic clean-ups allow wildlife like crocodiles and turtles to return to their natural habitats.
The top 10 plastic polluters in the world are: polystyrene (like takeout lids and styrofoam cups), microbeads (like you’d find in face cleansers), plastic microfibers from clothing, plastic bottles, plastic straws, plastic bags, feminine hygiene products, balloons, and cigarette butts.
Americans use about three million single-use plastic bottles per hour. Only about 3 out of 10 bottles actually get recycled.
In fact, of the more than 300 million tons of plastic produced every year, less than 10% actually gets recycled.
And nearly 40% of that 300 million tons is single-use plastic.
Worldwide, 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year.
Reusable products like bags, bamboo utensils and stainless steel containers, however, are often compostable and recyclable, so they won’t end up in landfills.
Plastic pollution directly harms and often kills, over 1,200 unique species of animals when they eat or become entangled with the plastic.
In fact, 90% of all seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.
Single-use plastic has been discovered at the world’s deepest ocean trench: the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.
Microplastics were also recently found atop Mt. Everest, the earth’s highest point.
It can take up to 1000 years for a single-use plastic bag to fully decompose.
Exposure to certain plastics, including many of the disposable kind, can cause endocrine disruption, birth defects, and cancer.
Thousands of disposable bags, cutlery, takeout containers, and face masks can be replaced with just one reusable alternative.
The buildup of single-use plastics, such as at the mouth of streams and rivers can create breeding grounds for insects like mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus and other nasty diseases.
Burning single-use waste contributes to high levels of carbon dioxide emissions and possibly toxic chemical leaching.
These facts, while blunt and hard to stomach, are important to face as we enter the new year. Knowing the effects that single-use plastics have on our bodies, environment, and planet makes us even more determined to renew our commitment to #effsingleuse and reach for reusables instead. Will you join us?