Modern life can be chaotic, so it’s no wonder that science and commerce have teamed up to provide us with no-fuss products to help the day pass smoothly. Unfortunately, the environmental toll of some of these innovations can be enormous. It’s no wonder that eco-conscious governments and municipalities are using legislation to temper the damage we’re inflicting on our planet.
In Europe, banned items range from the mundane to the ridiculous: guidelines set by the EU have made high-powered (and underperforming) vacuum cleaners a thing of the past, while the French have outlawed the farming of domestic frog legs. Bangladesh was the first nation to ban plastic shopping bags, way back in 2002.
“It might keep your coffee hot without burning your hand, but plastic foam – more commonly known as Styrofoam – is one of the most harmful materials around when it comes to the environment. This petroleum-based plastic has gained a lot of negative attention in recent years, prompting bans in many cities such as New York City and Washington D.C.”
Directed by Ian Connacher
Produced by Cryptic Moth Productions
Camera: Ian Connacher, Gad Reichman
Music Supervision: Oliver Johnson courtesy of the Hive
Editors: Martyn Iannece, Gad Reichman, Kevin Rollins
Addicted to Plastic reveals the history and worldwide scope of plastics pollution, investigates its toxicity and explores solutions.
Conventional packing materials we’re all familiar with—Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, plastic air pillows—do the job, but they also create non-biodegradable waste. Mark and Robin Le Vine, of BubbleFAST, talk about their company’s mission to make packaging as green as possible, and they share their favorite green shipping tips.
“We pride ourselves in trying to provide as many durable earth friendly products as we can find,” says Mark. “Examples are green bubble cushioning made from recycled materials, eco-friendly packing tape and biodegradable packing peanuts and biodegradable poly mailers.”
Mark says that moving and shipping supplies need to be durable and strong to protect, which makes it more difficult to create green packaging. “Biodegradable items, by definition, break down easier and faster than those that are not. Thus, it is a challenge to find moving/shipping supplies that are both,” he says. He has worked with vendors to solve this problem, creating some products that are made from recycled material and others that are constructed from special formulas that allow for quicker biodegradability while maintaining strength.
Mark says that every year the company runs a special during Earth Month where they highlight their environmentally friendly products. “During the promotion we donate a portion of our green product sales to Global Green USA.”
According to the EPA, 31 percent, or 77 million tons, of municipal solid waste comes from containers and packaging.
This presents a difficulty. You want to make sure that your valuables are protected and that they make it to their destination damage-free. Yet you also want to do your best to protect the environment. Mark and Robin explain their six favorite and most practical green shipping tips: