By Ghanim al-Sulaiti
Plastic: we’re all very aware of it and many of you are taking steps to reduce the use, and also to recycle it. Across my businesses in Qatar (from the vegan café, to the vegan skincare flagship store) we’ve been plastic free since day one. But the reality is that Qatar as a nation is continuing to use unnecessary, and often single-use plastic which is turning rivers and oceans into a type of plastic soup, while hurting the Earth.
In fact, recent studies have shown there are around 19,500,000,000 pieces of plastic inside the average modern-day home. In order to combat the issue as soon as possible, I encourage those around me to not worsen the situation by accepting more plastic into the home, and instead review and remove (by recycling) the plastic we do not need that’s sitting under our roof.
The war on plastic is real. Every single minute of every single day a truckload of plastic is finding its way into the world’s oceans – and once it’s there it sticks around for hundreds of years. There’s so much plastic that some isn’t even visible because over time it has broken down into microscopic pieces. It’s alarming, and this means these small pieces are now passing up the food chain, but harming animals.
In addition to this, the majority of people are still drinking bottled water from plastic bottles — but you should instead swap to reusable bottles, immediately. When we pay QR5 for a water bottle of branded water, we are just paying for that brand.
It’s often presumed that our supermarkets are taking up various ‘reduce plastic’ schemes – whether that’s by introducing a $ charge for the bag, or by swapping plastic meal packaging for cardboard. But, the reality is that supermarkets could be doing a lot more— including eliminating all plastic bags in exchange for recyclable, paper bags. On this matter, if Qatar were to take a leaf out of Rwanda’s book — a ‘100% ban on plastic bags’ could help us as a nation reduce our excessive plastic use.
* The author is an expert in vegan wellbeing and health. Instagram handle: @Ghanim92
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