Reduce Reuse Recycle
The enormous amount of material used by our society is becoming a growing problem for the environment. Politicians, producers and consumers are all called upon to equal extents to take the necessary measures. While politicians and producers have their guidelines and agendas, consumers are left to find their own strategies. A well-known and meaningful approach is that known as the three Rs: «Reduce, Reuse, Recycle». These strategies are especially applicable to the way we make use of plastic.
The order in which the terms reduce, reuse and recycle are placed reflects their importance. First of all we must reduce our use of plastic wherever this is possible. What must be bought should be used for as long as possible, and when this is no longer possible it should be sent off to be recycled. According to regional habits and the persons whom it is wished to address these three terms are augmented by a number of further suggestions. Producers and designers are urged to «rethink» and «redesign» – this means that the products manufactured should result in less waste. At the end of the life cycle the options for those products that cannot be recycled are to: «recover» (use to provide energy) or «dispose» (properly).

But how, precisely, can we apply these approaches in everyday life? Here are a few suggestions:

Always have a cloth bag with you and dispense with plastic bags.

Look for quality and buy products with a long life and made from sustainable resources: wood and cloth rather than plastic.

Say no to products with superfluous packaging material and instead choose a more ecological option.

Find upcycling methods of reusing old products.

At the political level call for an increase in plastic recycling.