The reality is that we have to have the willpower to start and continue, or we won't succeed. Without this, the first thing we do is go back to what is familiar to us. There is a theory, dating back to 1960 – however confirmed in some Neuroscience studies – that defends that it takes 21 days to reprogram the brain, to any kind of habits. Around here, we went slowly, but all the changes we made stayed.
Mostly our generation grew up in a consumer era, where many middle-class families had higher economic power. We needed to change habits so basic that it seemed to us geek that we hadn't remembered it sooner – like changing the shower gel and shampoo from liquid to solid.
One of the documentaries that shocked us the most was about garbage islands, the result of more than 6 decades, and dumping garbage into the oceans. From 2009 to 2011, islands were discovered in the North Atlantic, Indian and South Pacific. And in 2017, the existence of a fifth line of garbage in the South Atlantic was confirmed. These residues destroy marine ecosystems and cause the death of more than one million of animals per year. The subsistence and prosperity of this matter in the Ocean harms small communities that live off fishing, and as it affects ecosystems (and all of them are interconnected), it ends up harming air quality, contaminating the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.
Em 2018, it was concluded that Polyethylene (yes, the one used for disposable bags, foam boards, cling film and many more), when it decomposes, emits greenhouse gases such as ethylene and methane. Organizations such as GreenPeace claim that floating plastic makes up only 15% of the total plastic in the oceans. The remaining 85% is at the bottom of the sea, at a depth of eleven thousand meters. It is also estimated that by 2050 there will be more tons of waste in the sea than fish.
There are some projects to collect waste from the ocean (such as ECONYL®), but we must act to prevent the situation from getting worse.
Individually, we must change small habits in our daily lives, such as reducing the use of plastics in supermarkets, reusing bags, supporting organizations working towards this end. Being an ambassador for the cause, talking about your experiences in change, raising awareness among people around you.
We don't have a second planet and plastic is great because it's durable. And plastic is terrible because it's durable.