The disposable Starbucks cups have turned into a symbol of our single-use plastic problem. Thanks to the company’s global presence, you can see their plastic cups all over the world. Starbucks goes through roughly 7 billion disposable cups every year and they make up 20% of the company’s global waste.
Plastic waste has always been international. Microplastics do not care about borders and plastic waste litters all our oceans and shores. Not to mention richer countries sending their plastic waste to developing countries to be recycled and processed overseas.
On March 2, 2022 United Nations passed a historic resolution to end plastic pollution and forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024. This is remarkable resolution since it addresses the full lifecycle of plastic from source to sea.
I started my plastic-free journey from the kitchen. Typically, the kitchen and bathroom are the places where you can find the most plastic containers in your house. I decided to tackle the kitchen first because that seemed like the easier place to start.
You’ve probably heard about the three Rs when it comes to reducing waste. For example, here in Tucson our waste management trucks have the three Rs rule “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” printed on the side of them.
The plastic manufacturing industry is doing its best to make us feel ok about using plastic packaging. You see that little recycling icon in the bottom of a container, rinse the container, and throw it in your recycling bin. Problem solved and you’re a good person for recycling.