June 23, 2021

Kate Nelson sees sovereignty in quitting plastics

Kate Nelson sees sovereignty in quitting plastics

It’s coming up to July, and many people take part in Plastic Free July as an opportunity to assess and eliminate their plastic use for a month to have less impact on our planet

We’re going to see a lot of stuff over the next few weeks about it on social media, so I thought I’d get ahead of the game here and have a conversation with the expert herself, someone who hasn’t used single use plastics in over TWELVE years, Plastic Free Mermaid

But the thing about this conversation is, this is not just about some plastic reduction tips and tricks... this isn’t about fiddling at the margins and virtue signalling. This conversation is about how plastics are a very visual and very tangible example of our consumerist habits, and paints the picture of how we are enmeshed in a system which is damaging our planet and ourselves

In this conversation we talk about the pervasiveness and horrific broad-scale impacts of plastics; not just a straw in the ocean or a coffee cup, but major pollution problems exported to developing countries, the issues of micro-plastics in our food system, the disruption of our endocrine system, the ties to the global oil industry, and much more

We go into detail the issues with the recycling industry – how it’s actually a ‘down-cycling’ industry that just delays the inevitable pathway of plastics into our environment, that was created by the oil industry to convince us that plastics are ok to use (essentially, ‘greenwashing’)

We also talk about environmental communication and we break down some examples of what works and draws people in, versus what fragments and divides people (we use the documentary Seaspiracy as an example of this)

But the real core of this conversation is about how plastics are such a visible example of our general lack of accountability or responsibility of the impacts of our own lifestyle. We have this ‘put it in a bin and it’s gone’ mentality, which is so representative of the consumerist way of living that is imposed upon us

But here’s the thing: once we step out of this paradigm (for her that meant quitting plastics), we realise ‘I just stepped out of that way of living...what else can I do?’

We start asking ourselves: 'What else in my life can I take responsibility and accountability for?'

So this Plastic Free July don’t just cut out a straw or a cup, take stock of your buying habits. Take your own responsibility and accountability into your own hands. Take your sovereignty back for the way you live your lifestyle

This is a great conversation to get you started down that track