Society’s obsession with plastics vs. concern for our planet

What does the future look like for our planet? Will it continue to bear the cost of our conveniences? 

Plastic has  taken center stage in our daily lives, particularly in today’s society where ease is king. Plastic’s lightweight and durability make it ideal for a wide range of applications, from packaging household items to shipping large goods. However, this widespread use of plastic has also led to environmental concerns.

From the bottom of the seas to the top of the mountains, our globe is covered with plastic. According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year, and not all of it is recycled. To put that into perspective, thatโ€™s equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. Our dependence on this artificial marvel is changing the face of the contemporary world for the worse, unless something is done to change the tide.

In the face of environmental damage, a new movement is growing. Earth-conscious organizations and a more aware global population are recognizing the fragility of our planet. The Higher Education Institution (HEI) practice at CcHUB positions itself as a leading player in promoting environmental consciousness. It achieves this by encouraging collaboration between government, industry, and academia to drive research-led solutions. One of its notable collaborations is with Kunle Babaremu Researcher at PAULESI-Pan African University Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (Including Health & Agriculture).

โ€œWhile academia can generate valuable research insights, the translation of these findings into real-world applications often relies on supportive government policies, and establishing synergy among these three key stakeholders is crucial..โ€ -Kunle Babaremu

Rita Idehai, a Geoscientist turned Social Innovator and Founder of Ecobarter, emphasized the importance of innovation and research development. It is crucial for companies to consider and embrace environmentally friendly alternatives. These solutions arise from the commitment of researchers to providing sustainable alternatives.  

People everywhere are starting to pay more attention to using less plastic and making choices that don’t hurt the planet. While individual recycling is important, it’s not enough to address the plastic waste crisis. Here are some actions individuals can take to make a more significant impact:

  • Households can reduce Single-Use Plastics: Opt for reusable alternatives like glass bottles, cloth tote shopping bags, and metal coffee cups to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated.
  •  Support businesses that prioritize sustainable practices, the economic incentive of buyer trends would pressure companies to give up on rapid single use plastic production and packaging. 
  • Participate in Clean-Up Efforts: Join local clean-up events to remove plastic waste from the environment and prevent it from reaching waterways and oceans.

By taking these actions, individuals can contribute to turning the tide against plastic waste and promoting a more sustainable future.

As awareness grows, so does the adoption of sustainable practices. Families are increasingly prioritizing the purchase of refillable products, reducing their reliance on single-use plastics. Schools are embedding environmental stewardship into their curricula, nurturing a generation that is inherently more conscious of their ecological footprint. Businesses, too, are recognizing the economic and social benefits of sustainable practices, driven by consumer demand for more environmentally friendly products.

Itโ€™s really about thinking hard on how we can change for the better. Even as our planet faces some tough times because of pollution, thereโ€™s a strong wave of hope coming through. Groups that care a lot about the Earth and people all over the world who are starting to realize how delicate our planet is are leading the charge. Theyโ€™re showing us that together, we can make things better.