Why the circular economy is the solution to the plastic problem.

The United Nation Environment Programme just released a new report emphasizing that the solution to plastic pollution relies in the adoption of a circular economy. 

It outlines 3 practical solutions that we can take to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic, improve our supply chain and waste management streams, and shift away from using plastic to other materials.

1. Reuse: studies show that shifting away from a throw-away mindset to reusing goods has the largest impact on our plastic pollution

2. Recycle: improving the economics of recycling to improve the adoption rate

3. Reorient / Diversify: shifting product materials away from polymer or petrochemical-derived plastics

In a historic moment, all 193 UN member states committed to solving the plastic problem and signed the mandate to create a Plastic Treaty in March 2022. The goal is that the treaty is launched by 2024.

Why does it matter? Plastic is a global problem, that impacts our precious ecological systems, our health and disproportionally affects lower income and developing nations.

"Currently, the world produces 430 million metric tons of plastics each year (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] 2022), of which over two-thirds are short-lived products which soon become waste, and a growing amount (139 million metric tons in 2021 [Minderoo 2021]) after one single use. "

The report details very specific actions we can take to reduce our plastic reduction, and sets the target of an 80% reduction by 2040. We feel optimistic that companies, governments and consumers are ready and willing to make the shift, and are excited to see what innovation in product design and systems come in the next 20 years. At Better Basics, we hope to be at the forefront of this movement by designing products that make lives cleaner, easier and reduce plastic waste. 

Read the full report here.