From cleaning parks and streets, birds and wales that died from plastic, to the latest ban on single-use plastic in the European Union, today more than ever, we read about plastic waste or engage in discussions about finding solutions to this problem. If plastic is everywhere from the moment that we buy a shampoo, a bottle of water or even vegetables at the store, how can we as individuals and as a society change something?
Every time we throw away a plastic straw, a detergent packaging or a food delivery box we take part in topping up the landfills that pollute air and land. Against many beliefs that some plastic packaging is biodegradable, it is important to know that plastic is not degradable in nature, but only within controlled industrial conditions. Plastic as a material never disappears and because of that it is one of the biggest global challenges that we are facing. By separating and recycling certain plastic products, such as water and soda bottles, can be melt and get a new shape. However, there are still items such as sour cream containers or softener packagings that end up in landfills. In addition, the question of how efficient the separating systems are arises. Often we hear people ask where to take specific waste? What exactly can be recycled? Does it all end up at the same landfill in the end?
In the pile of plastic products, instead of giving up, we believe that each of us can contribute to change. Companies that produce plastic, state and private institutions that provide good communal waste management systems, recyclers, educational institutions, but also citizens themselves can contribute to systemic change. For this reason, we are bringing up the question of where to take plastic waste, together with other questions to the relevant stakeholders at the SHIFT conference within this year’s Mikser Festival.
We want to hear why we do not have deposit systems in supermarkets where we can return plastic bottles. We want to know where to put paper waste or cans. We are trying to get information about alternatives for life without plastic. That is exactly why plastic is the topic of one of the panels at the SHIFT conference.