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Learn how you can tackle the plastic pollution problem with the circular economy model

Categories: Green Tips
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When it comes to circular economy, our friends at WRAP explain it best: a circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

Credit: WRAP circular economy

The concept is simple as it brings you back to the 3Rs: reducing materials and waste, reusing products, and recycling materials. We have compiled 5 tips that can be used by any individual to start the conversation and start taking actions.

  1. Understanding the circular business model:

There are currently 5 circular business models that form the basis of a sustainable business: a business that focuses on closing loops so that there is no waste. By understanding how these business models work, we can identify companies that adopt these models, allowing us to be more conscious about who we choose to support and engage with.

  1. Refuse single-use items:

Single-use items simply do not work well in the circular economy model! The circular economy model aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible. The traditional approach of “take-make-dispose” should be a thing of the past. Do these 24 examples of ridiculous plastic packaging look familiar to you? Try to refuse them the next time you encounter them, or take photos of them and share on social media with the hashtag #BreakFreeFromPlastic.

  1. Get creative:

Ask yourself, “can I give this a second life?” before tossing anything into the bin. Turn waste into resources where all biodegradable material returns to nature and the non-biodegradable items are reused. If you have plastic bottles lying around your home, try any of these 20 creative ideas to breathe new life into these empty plastic bottles.

Credit: lynnpetersson.se

  1. Collaborate:

Teamwork and collaboration create wonderful things. If the waste industry had set many household waste collection systems for you to follow, chances are it is designed to maximize the quality of recycling. Effective waste segregation means that less waste goes to landfill which will make it cheaper and better for people and the environment. Here are 5 types of waste classification for you to understand what you can and cannot recycle.

Credit: Shutterstock

  1. Show your support. Take action:

For far too long, companies have been forcing plastic packaging into our lives and our planet and communities pay the real price. Massive floating islands of plastics three times the size of France are found floating in the Pacific Ocean. They threaten wildlife species, pollute the sea and can persist in the environment for centuries. You can make a difference by demanding corporations move away from single-use plastics altogether by adding your signature to support petitions.

There is a reason why more and more researchers are tapping into providing more evidence for the economic, environmental and societal benefits that a circular economy transition could deliver. The world is waking to the problem and this is a fight that we cannot afford to lose.

We at PATA are committed to be a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within Asia Pacific. Read more on our plastics brainstorming session that took place at the PATA HQ here.

To read more on circular economy, click here

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Credit: Shutterstock

A recent research from The Ocean Cleanup shows that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch comprises an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of rubbish and is more than 16 times bigger than previously thought. With 8 million tons of plastic leaking into the ocean every year, all litter in our oceans harm over 600 marine species. Publicly taking a pledge to reduce plastic by saying “NO” to plastic water bottles or single-use straws in order to help the environment is a good start, however many of us struggle to go the extra and most important step: consuming accordingly!

With these apps, refusing and reducing plastic in your daily life is made easy, even when you are travelling:

1. WeTap

About: Thirsty? Ditch the plastic bottle with this drinking fountain app. WeTap allows you to find public water fountains easily. You can also assist other by adding new ones to the public database. Utilising and appreciating tap water – both the quality and access – is an important step in ensuring our water remains safe, tasty, and protected. Download the app here.

Where you can use it: worldwide

2. RefillMyBottle

About: Be it a hotel, a shop, warung or retreat business, a group of sustainable businesses on Bali have teamed up to offer travellers the opportunity for a bottle refill of clean water from a gallon or Nazava water filter. RefillMyBottle is a great showcase of the tourism industry’s commitment in preserving Bali’s eco-system. To map the initiative, RefillMyBottle has published an easily accessible Google map of all the places where you can refill your water bottle. Check the map to find the location of the nearest refill point or look for the RefillMyBottle sticker in the window of the establishment to refill your bottle! Download the app here.

Where you can use it: currently in Indonesia, expanding to Thailand and Vietnam

3. Zero Waste Home

About: Find, add and rate bulk locations near you and throughout the world using Bulk Finder. Shop without needless plastic wrappings and packaging. On the Zero Waste blog, you can further find information about living a Zero Waste lifestyle. Download the app here.

Where you can use it: worldwide

Another map (website-based) that provides a directory of packaging-free shops, borrowing shops and other facilities that promote a more environmentally-friendly and sensible consumption is the Zero Waste Map. The map is primarly for use in in Central Europe, however you can also enter new locations for relevant categories, upload your own images and exchange ideas in the forum with other interested members.

You can also learn more about plastic in our oceans with the MY LITTLE PLASTIC FOOTPRINT APP (Beta Version). This app provides fun facts on how to reduce the use of plastic. You can play an interactive quiz, use a Plastic Footprint calculator and learn how to adopt healthy habits regarding plastic consumption. The app also lets you spread awareness among your friends.

 

Interested in more apps that can help you embrace a sustainable lifestyle? Check out three more here.

 

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