Magical mermaid yogi goddesses don’t come around regularly enough so when they do you’ve got to ask all the questions you can. Kate quit disposable plastic from her life ten years ago. Through her advocacy she has guided tens of thousands of people towards conscious consumption, a more sustainable way of living. With the release of her book ‘I Quit Plastics.’ Kate is going to be leading many more down the healthy people, healthy planet path. It’s a must read! I Quit Plastics
At what point did you say enough is enough when it comes to plastic?
11 years ago when I learned that plastic doesn’t biodegrade–it doesn’t break down, it breaks UP into millions of tiny plastics impossible to clean up.
Why do you consider the war on plastic to be a worthy cause?
Plastic is not only detrimental to the environment but to human health as well. Plastic sheds microplastics that we ingest, inhale and likely absorb. Plastic leaches toxins into whatever they contain, which then we put in or on our bodies and our bodies suffer. The toxic affects are that the chemicals act like estrogen in our bodies causing us to gain weight, get depressed, and ultimately can lead to infertility.
10 years in the future, how much more/less plastic will we be using? What other material contenders do you think will be in mainstream use by then?
The plastics industry aka Big Oil is ramping up production of plastic packaging, aiming to double in the next ten years.”
In 2015 the primary plastic packaging production by the industrial sector was 146 million tons, 81 million tons in front of any other industrial sector including building/construction (65M), textiles (59M), or electronics (18M). This is why individuals must take action, individual business owners must invest in better materials, individual innovators must work on solutions, individuals must write their governments or go into politics to tackle these horrendous issues.
How is the cause tracking for 10 years? What makes you optimistic & pessimistic about that timeline?
It’s in my nature to be optimistic at all times! Plus it sustains my activism and helps prevent burn out. It’s good that people are finally aware of plastic as a problem. We were seeing great progress in terms of plastic bans, global efforts pushing forward innovation, and system redesign at the corporate level. Unfortunately, the pandemic has set us back significantly as most media refuse to discuss anything but the virus as they don’t want to appear insensitive, the plastics industry has pushed masks and gloves as the main protective equipment when there is plenty of science revealing it’s just as harmful due to our contact with the toxic chemicals, and people’s fear and uncertainty push the to trust authority over their own instincts. Additionally, the climate continues to heat up, and the biodiversity loss is still peaking. So I am optimistic that we will be okay, but I am working hard to get as much awareness about solutions as I can because time is of the essence.
What advice do you have for other companies out there looking at packaging or material solutions?
Glass is by far the safest material to eat or drink from, but the weight of the transporting this material is costly to Earth as it burns more fuel. Circurlar systems are the solutions we need for our planet to truly recover. NOt disposable packaging, but bring back containers and refill.
What advice do you have for consumers who would like contribute in their purchasing choices?
Be hardcore about how you spend your dollar. Know that when you spend money you are directly contributing to a healthy thriving planet or you are perpetuating it’s destruction. And no I do not think that is extreme to say. It’s extreme that we take zero responsibility for our waste and mounting plastics that are now found in rain water. We have to take responsibility for our actions, choices, purchases.
What policy initiatives should we start or stop and why?
Start supporting local businesses.
Bring your own containers or support businesses with fully compostable take-away containers (unlined cardboard).
Shop at farmer’s markets and order your dry and fresh foods direct from farmers to support your local growers.
What question didn’t I ask that you think everyone should ask themselves seriously?
With so many scary things happening on our planet today, with so many unknowns, shouldn’t we take control of our own lives? Cannot we do something for the planet, for humanity and try a little harder. We have tried to take it slow. It’s time for us to dig deep and go hard for the betterment of this world. Whether it’s quitting plastics, committing to composting, growing your own food, cycling more, etc. Start building a better future today.