Each year that goes by, humanity generates another 400 million tons of plastic waste – all of which litters our planet. It finds it way into the Oceans and waterways, or slowly degrades for centuries in landfill, damaging our soils.

According to the UNEP, since the 1970’s plastic production has increased faster than that of any other material;, and should we continue at this rate – it’s forecast that  by 2050, global production of primary plastic will reach 1,100 million tonnes per year.

Those figures sound concerning enough – but if we take a wider view at the overall amount of plastic it is estimated we have in our environment globally, we see an even more devastating picture. Seven billion tonnes, it is believed – with less than 10% of that being recycled.

 Our habits of plastic consumption are becoming more literal as we ingest microplastics in their thousands each year. Estimates range from 11,845 to 193,000 per person, per year – with most of those coming from water intake, but increasingly our food also.  

“Most plastic items never fully disappear; they just break down into smaller and smaller pieces. Those microplastics can enter the human body through inhalation and absorption and accumulate in organs. Microplastics have been found in our lungs, livers, spleens and kidneys, A study recently detected microplastics in the placentas of newborn babies.”

Of this vast tide of plastic (both at sea, and in land) – 36% of the volume is made up of Single Use Plastics. This is perhaps the most depressing side of it all; that we have become increasingly reliant on the convenience of plastic that is used once then thrown away. But humanity is coming around. 

As public sentiment begins to shift, and we share knowledge on the scale and impact of our behaviours – there is some hope. Each year, millions join the call for a ‘Plastic Free July’ – rallying together to bring attention to this messy world we are building. At Tentsile, we stopped using Single Use Plastics in any part of our production – from supply chain to delivery – and vow to keep it that way. After all, when there are so many viable alternatives, why not progress? We use fabric material bags made from offcuts to hold our accessories and components, and use paper tape to seal our boxes. We have made sure that every single element of our products is required, and that their durability guarantees a good life span – as opposed to the cheap one-time-use counterfeit hammocks we have seen doing the rounds. These are the small, conscious changes that we should demand from every business, this month and every month, which add up to a big change in our global impact. We might not be able to get rid of plastics out of our ecosystem for many many centuries to come, but we can mitigate the impact by acting on what we have learned.

Will you be taking part in Plastic Free July this year? Take the challenge, and join with millions of individuals who will be voting with their feet, and saying NO to plastics this month. Check out the website to join the movement, and for tips, stories and inspiration - https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/take-the-challenge/

Kirstie Grego