Small steps make for big changes…How to end plastic pollution?
In 2012, on a visit to Kibera; one of Kenya’s largest slums and what used to be the Nairobi Dam; was now filled to the brim with plastic waste. It was the first time I noticed the effects of plastic pollution on the some of the most vulnerable of people, mostly orphaned kids who could only dig in the filth to salvage metal they could sell to try to barter some food to survive. We were there to study climate change adaptation in water and sanitation.
Africa is a place we all love dearly, having been born there myself however it seems to be the dumping and looting ground for the rest of the world. In 2022, the UK was one of the 5th largest exporters of plastic waste1, estimated at 472 thousand metric tons, after: Germany, The Netherlands, Japan and Belgium. The top 4 plastic polluters are in Europe and where does this plastic go to? Who regulates the recycling or reuse of plastic? The truth is that once it is shipped, it becomes the problem of the other country and they dispose of it as they see fit. That is why we are finding Tesco and other supermarkets non recyclable plastic bags floating in lakes and rivers thousands of miles from the UK. This needs to stop now.
I’ve always loved the natural world, everything about it and still do, promising that I will do everything to clean up the mess we have made and to right the injustices facing the animals who cannot speak for themselves. As part of my commitment, ShearWater Eco Ltd was born: a company that is completely plastic free, throughout our supply chain, unlike most of our competitors. This journey is not only about ridding the planet of plastic. It is, more importantly about bringing about structural changes in how we manufacture our goods and how we consume them. The life cycle of a product from Earth source to Earth Source must be managed in a way that will no longer cause harmful chemicals and waste to pollute the lands, waters and air of the other species we share this planet with. This I believe to be the ultimate injustice, the innocent children, animals, the 1000-year-old oak, the giant yellow-woods and baobabs. They are not responsible for this mess, we are! And it is our responsibility to clean it up and to ensure that other hoomans…do the same!
It is my hope that you will join and lend your voice, suggestions and support as ShearWater Eco leaps to the next level. With your continued support it is becoming a company that will make those changes, hold polluters accountable, lobby government and show other companies that we can create products that don’t destroy the planet and also lessen the impacts of climate change whilst doing good business and keeping prices affordable.
Your task, my friend, is to show and educate your neighbors, friends, colleagues and team mates that we can consume in better ways. We can start with little changes and better choices. Some of these may involve holding the companies you purchase from to account and purchasing products that have an extended life-cycle. I encourage you to follow the 4R’s:
Reduce, Reuse, Re-purpose and Recycle! You can also follow our blog and social media for more tips. All of the above is urgently needed because simply doing one of them is not enough anymore!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article, please share to 10 of your closest friends and start the discussion on how to do better. At ShearWater Eco, we love receiving your suggestions; please continue to email us with your views at: WeCare@shearwatereco.com
Much love, Always
ShearWater Eco is a Cardiff based Eco household company using natural fibres to design products and packaging that are plastic free, zero waste to landfill, non toxic, affordable and have a low carbon footprint. Paris Oomadath is the director/founder of ShearWater Eco Ltd.