Life Before Plastic:
Plastic isn’t a life essential.
We are programmed to view plastics as necessary because most companies produce their products with it, and all the stores are stocked with it. But that isn’t out of necessity, it’s out of marketers poor regard for consumer capability.
They think we’re too lazy to live without plastic… and they’re right.
Sixty years ago the plastics we use today didn’t even exist. While plastic was first discovered in the 19th Century, it didn’t really arrive in the consumer market until the 1940s, and then really take off in the 1960s.
If humans lived for eons before the invention of single-use throw-away plastic, isn’t that evidence that we the consumers can choose not to buy into the craze of plastics for convenience, and push a return to more traditional methods of shopping and storage?
Before today’s plastic, people used cloth bags and jars for their shopping, just like the zero wasters do today. You couldn’t forget to take your bags and choose to take the unsustainable option. Buying in bulk for better dollar value, less trips to the shops and less packaging was a norm. These are all conveniences that we’ve forgotten in our movement towards being able to buy a pack of microwave rice on the way home from work.
Before today’s plastic, people bought their fresh food directly from the supplier because we couldn’t just snap freeze our peas. This meant nutritionally dense wholefood, less food miles, less land degradation for the production of resources, and the support of local businesses over multinational conglomerates. Today’s switch to convenience has seen the die out of the family farm as producers compete for a place on Coles’ shelves (and inadvertently the guarantee of wage slavery.)
Before today’s throwaway approach to shopping, people valued what they bought much more dearly. Instead of buying 4 cheap overcoats, they bought one they loved and that would serve them well for as long as it was needed.
Possessions mattered to people. The things we bought had value, and they weren’t at the cost of our Earth.
It’s time to shake up our perceptions of what we actually need, and move back towards a sustainable way of living. Going without plastic isn’t reverting to an outdated lifestyle, it’s embracing the future and moving towards the kind of world we all want to live in.
Let’s take down the system with one simple choice you can make today. Just say to yourself “I will buy less plastic.”