Alter Eco Pledges a Plastic Free July
Here at Alter Eco, we take our environmental impact seriously. That’s why we took a closer look at how increased plastic usage is affecting our health and our planet.
The problem with plastic is it never goes away, and as we use it increasingly in our lives, it is just piling up. Nearly half of all plastic ever manufactured has been made since 2000. By 2015, the world produced 7.8 billion tons of plastic - more than one ton of plastic for every person alive today.
Even though some plastic is recyclable, that does not mean it’s actually getting recycled! Less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled globally , and that number is even lower - just 9% - in the US.
Inevitably, some of this plastic ends up outside of waste management facilities and into our environment, where it photodegrades into tinier and tinier pieces, but never goes away.
In the marine environment, plastic is killing more than 1.1 million seabirds and animals every year. And it’s affecting humans too. Research has found that we are ingesting more microplastics than we ever knew before -- at least 70,000 microplastics each year.
As a packaged food company, we definitely know that plastic is hard to avoid. However, we have committed as a company to 100% recyclable or compostable plastic in all our products by 2020. And we are already part of the way there, thanks to our innovative compostable truffle wrappers and FSC certified paper packaging for our chocolate bars.
This month, we are taking it a step further and making it PERSONAL. Our office is taking on the Plastic Free July challenge so we can be more conscious of single-use items and try to cut back when possible. Reduce is the most important of the 3 R’s!
Nobody is perfect, but we believe that individual choice and small changes add up to a big collective impact. Here are a few ways you can scale back your plastic usage in your daily life:
- Bring your own coffee cup. Some cafes may even offer a discount!
- Get reusable grocery bags and use them in the grocery store’s bulk section or at the farmer’s market
- Meal prep at home when possible
- Carry your own bamboo cutlery kit - this is a hit at festivals or food trucks!
- Remember to say “no straw,” “no fork,” etc. when at a bar or restaurant
- Bring a to-go container, even when you’re dining in for leftovers
- Make your own! - hummus, deodorant, chapstick, potato chips, nut milk - it's fresher, cheaper and fun!
- Choose restaurants with certified compostable containers when you forget to bring your own
- (just make sure it says “compostable” on it - not any other term like “eco-friendly.” Paper is generally better than compostable plant-based plastics (PLA), as some municipalities do not have the necessary facilities to process these plastics)
So we hope you’ll join the Alter Eco team in the Plastic Free July challenge this month, and continue reducing single use plastics in your everyday life! Tag us on Instagram with your small changes @alterecosf