Single use plastic and packaging made out of plastic has become a huge pollution problem in our world’s ecosystems. Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet published on its front page, on Sunday July 14, 2019, an article about how big this problem has become. The two-page article began with the story of a whale that was found on the shores of the island of Sardinia in Italy, and had 20 kilos of plastic filling two-thirds of its stomach. This had caused the death of the whale together with her unborn baby whale.
“In Sweden every inhabitant uses 130 kilos of plastic per year according to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. A figure that also grows by 40 percent per year. Of the 448 million tonnes of plastic produced in the world each year, about 8 million tonnes end up in the world’s oceans”, writes Annica Ögren in her article ‘Scientists: Sweden’s plastic ban will not save the animals’ on Svenska Dagbladet, 14 July 2019.
We have heard similar news before and they’re on the rise. So it’s no wonder there have been so many campaigns and initiatives to take measures to cut the use of plastic and encourage its recycling and thus reduce the amount of plastic that ends up spread into the oceans and our environment in general. One of these initiatives to cut down single-use plastic is “Bring Your Own”, a project run by Zero Waste Stockholm to reduce single-use plastic containers for take-away lunches, coffees, juices or store-bought foods. As things are now, most shop owners will accept bringing your own containers, but Zero Waste wants to drive awareness among shoppers by encouraging shop owners to advertise this option on their premises and on their page.
Zero Waste Stockholm is a non-profit association run by volunteers, their goal is to influence and guide the population of Stockholm towards a reduction of waste in their life. Zero Waste has created an online platform to help shoppers buy package-free: http://www.zerowastestockholm.org/map/. Shops accepting to serve you in your own container will be listed there and will receive a sticker to put on the door of their premises to inform customers.
“We all see that it is completely unsustainable that a material that can last for hundreds of years, and which is basically non-degradable in nature, is used once and then thrown away”, says Environment and Climate Minister Isabella Lövin in an interview with Sveriges Radio.
Beside bringing your own containers and carriers to restaurants or shops, you can also contribute to Zero Waste’s initiative by becoming an ambassadors to spread the initiative to your local food stores and restaurants. The goal is to fill up the Zero Waste map and spread the knowledge that purchasing your favourite food without packaging isn’t an issue! You can get the stickers and flyers with more information at SBG18 co-working space in Swedenborgsgatan 18, during weekdays 9:00-18:00. If you cannot visit during this time, you can still download the flyers from their website, in the resources section. You can also follow their Facebook forum where they share all the information on how to get involved or to give feedback and their Instagram.
Zero Waste organises monthly meet-ups where people can meet the local Zero Waste community to share tips and their experience in their waste reduction journey. They also organise workshops to teach how to reduce waste. For more info about their meet-ups and workshops go to: https://www.meetup.com/Zero-Waste-Stockholm
Stockholm, lets take action and make a Zero Waste a reality!