(I’m starting a blog post series on the plastic choices I’ve been oblivious to in my daily life – open thinking format/ suggestions welcome).
The world is shouting “No Plastic” – surprisingly, this appears to be more than skin deep because I’m seeing small changes around me. More people are carrying reusable shopping bags. I saw the plastic stirrers in airports replaced by wooden stirrers. Steps in the right direction.
I thought, why not see plastic in my life. How embedded is it? How easy to replace? How recyclable?
I start with the laptop I’m typing this on. It is plastic largely. If this was replaced by metal or wood, I suspect the weight and the cost would go up significantly. On the other hand, I’ve used it for years, and I suspect recycling the plastic is not going to be as much of a problem as recycling the electronic components – Hard disk/Chips/Screen is going to be.
Next, the pen I use to write in my notebook is made of plastic – single use at that. There is no need for it to be. The plastic itself is sturdy enough to last for years, and the ink can be filled.
This problem (the pen’s waste footprint) is ideally solved at the design stage. It’s not a big deal for Mitsubishi Pencil Co. because the customers are still buying the pen at a low cost – a cost that does not account for the waste footprint of the pen.
OK. More later.