Tag Archives: World Watch Institute

Plastic packaging and writing for sustainable change

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By Alyssa Adamowski, senior Ursuline College nursing student

Lately I’ve been noticing the amount of plastic and other materials used for packaging. Everything we buy comes in a package: food, electronics, clothes, and the majority of other products. Most of this plastic isn’t recyclable. According to the World Watch Institute, humans produce 1.3 billion tons of garbage per year, most of which ends up in landfills. Most of this packaging is unnecessary. But more importantly, why can’t all packaging just be recyclable? Why does my new printer need three pounds worth of packaging? Why does my toothpaste bottle need to come in a shiny unrecyclable box?

Over the past few months I’ve been collecting a list of everything I buy and seeing whether or not the packaging is recyclable. If it’s not I try to abstain from buying it, but I’ve come across problems. Toothpaste, for example, comes in a bottle and a box; is the box really necessary? The box doesn’t contribute to the sterility and cleanliness of the paste! But, I can’t live without toothpaste.

So, I wrote to Colgate and other companies asking them why their packaging isn’t recyclable. Not only have I written to corporations, I’ve written my congressmen asking them to pass a law requiring all businesses to only use recyclable packaging. Well, Colgate was the first to write me back! I found out that the plastic toothpaste bottle is recyclable but the cardboard box is not. They are working on making more of their products and packaging more environmentally friendly. They also sent me a coupon for my interest in their products!

I encourage you to write to your congressmen and tell them to vote for environmental change. Write to corporations and tell them you want them to revamp their products. The more people they hear from the more change we can make! Encourage your friends and family too!

Read more on this topic here.