Consumerism is one reason our environment has taken such a negative hit. Society is setting social standards by buying the newest gadgets and the latest products, while there are garbage islands forming in the Pacific Ocean from our plastic waste. Times have changed since the 1940’s in regards to packaging materials for products. Nowadays, the market is so competitive that companies have lost sight of the sustainability of the environment and are only focusing on merchandising and profit. We can retain control of our product packaging once again by only using the necessary wrapping needed for preservation and safety of the products we buy.
During World War II, countries did everything they could to help supply their soldiers with whatever they needed. In the 1940’s because they were so cautious with waste, men used the same razors from when they started shaving to when they finished and the milkman came around once a week to deliver fresh milk and pickup used bottles.
Companies also used glass or cardboard packaging as their main materials instead of plastics. This is better for the environment because glass and cardboard are both materials which can be broken down, unlike plastic. In the past, a Barbie doll was packaged wearing one outfit. Barbie had one piece of cardboard to hold her legs in place and was packed in a cardboard box. Now, Barbie is placed wearing one outfit and has two others in the box to choose from, alongside a cellphone, microphone, and a purse all made of plastic, and then held in place by cardboard, wires, and plastic.
Plastic gained its popularity when ads selling plastic cutlery were marketed towards housewives. Buying plastic utensils meant housewives would not have to wash dishes and instead, throw them in the garbage. This indestructible material is the reason for the infestation of our oceans and is destruction of the ecosystems that we live in.
There are multiple ways that consumers can reduce waste:
• not buying products with unnecessary plastic packaging
• making sure we know where our plastic waste is going
• refraining from purchasing items with this packaging
Too many products these days are packaged in a cardboard box with plastic coverings and styrofoam filling. It is ridiculous the amount of packaging on some products. For instance, plastic wrap is wrapped in plastic and toilet paper is individually wrapped in plastic and then all of the rolls are packed into bigger plastic warp, as if it were harmful for a roll of toilet paper to be touching another roll.
Plastics for many reasons are one of the main sources for the environment being unhealthy. They are the destructions of our eco systems, they pollute, and they reduce natural landscapes. As a society, we have created an island of garbage; it is called the Pacific Gyre. It consists mainly of plastic because it is the hardest material to breakdown; it takes thousands of years for plastic to degrade. By boycotting the companies which use plastic packaging too much we can prevent our oceans from turning into a polluted place of plastic and help our environment become cleaner for us to live.