The damages of the life cycle of plastic according to ciel!

Team COEX® 4 minutes

The innovation that led to the discovery of COEX is the awareness that protecting nature is a guarantee of safety and real well-being. Ciel's (Centre for International Environmental Law) 2019 Report takes stock of the damage that plastic causes to the planet and, above all, to health. The #madeofCOEX fabrics are the only 100% fireproof and also 100% vegetable fabrics: because “with COEX you protect nature and nature protects you”!

World organizations such as WWF, Legambiente (recently with the Beach Litter 2019 survey on plastic waste on Italian beaches) and Greenpeace have, for a long time, been exposing the serious consequences of plastic pollution. An issue that has, of late, become a “viral” trending topic in the mass media due to the drama of the images that accompany articles, posts on social media and blogs. 
The seriousness of the problem has, this year, led the European Parliament to prepare legislation to discontinue the sale by 2021 of some common objects, such as straws, disposable tableware and cotton buds, which make up 70% of the waste that suffocates marine ecosystems, from the surface to the seabed.
Greenpeace has recently launched a petition, signed by more than three million people, asking large multinationals to reduce plastic packaging and, more generally, to abandon the use of disposable plastic.
Furthermore, along with many other organizations committed to protecting our planet, it has promoted the dissemination of the Report on “Plastic and health: the hidden costs of a plastic planet” promoted by Ciel (Centre for International Environmental Law).

The damages of the life cycle of plastic according to ciel! COEX

“Each phase of the lifecycle of the plastic interacts with the others and all have an effect on the environment and on human health. Plastic is harmful to health from before its production until long after its disposal”, which is very slow and not at all decisive.

This is the alarming truth forcefully set forth by the Ciel Report, realized with the collaboration of eight known environmental organizations and institutions: Earthworks, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Healthy Babies Bright Futures, IPEN, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, Upstream and Break Free From Plastic Movement.

In fact, staggering statistics affirm that plastic production increased from two million tons in 1950 to 380 million tons in 2015 and that two-thirds of all that produced globally is still in the environment, “in the form of debris in the oceans, as micro or nanoparticles in the air and in agricultural soils, such as microfibres in water reserves or as microparticles in animals and in the human body”, continues the text of the document.

To counteract the plastic pollution that today is an emergency that can no longer be ignored, we must, therefore, necessarily consider the entire life cycle of the plastic and review our way of producing, using and disposing of this material. Moreover, of course, also our lifestyle, from how we dress and how we eat to the most daily habits that we are not always too aware of!

The text of the Ciel Report highlights the impacts of the “plastic life cycle” on the environment and on our health:

  • for example, the extraction of fossil fuels used as raw materials in the production phase (more than 99% of the plastic today is produced using fossil fuels), cause air and water pollution and other transport-related impacts; 
  • the same use of plastic products and packaging leads to a potential inhalation of particles and possible damage even from contact;
  • still, plastic is difficult to recycle (only a modest quantity can be transformed, which in turn can no longer be recycled) and the current management of plastic waste (incineration, co-incineration, gasification, etc.) results in the release of toxic metals into the air, water and soils, such as lead and mercury, organic substances (dioxins), acid gases and other toxic substances.

“Although there is still much more to explore about all the possible impacts generated by plastic on human health, the risks are clear. Current knowledge requires us to specifically apply the principle of precautionary and to start to definitively eliminate the plastic, starting with disposable”, says Giuseppe Ungherese, head of the Pollution campaign of Greenpeace Italy.

It is impossible to get rid of plastic entirely and plastic is an important material for some sectors. Instead, we must strictly learn to eliminate it in all the cases in which it is unnecessary, this is the shared thesis expressed also by Chantal Plamondon and Jay Sinha in the well-known volume Life without plastic. The definitive guide. There are no more excuses. The authors maintain that it is absolutely necessary to stop the production of plastic already present in such quantities that it cannot be recycled. The very “myth of recycling” should be dispelled“Consumers think that a lot of plastic is recyclable. In reality, this is not the case: in Italy, only 961 thousand of the 7 million tons of plastic produced are recycled, also because the plastic can only be converted in products of lesser quality”. For example, even washing and reusing disposable bottles several times, given the fact that these are low quality products, they risk filtering microscopic fragments of plastic and toxic substances into the drinks! In fact, plastic should not be considered to be disposable waste, but instead a precious, even if potentially toxic, resource to be carefully recycled. 

So the changes in that needs to take place in our daily habits, for example:

  • reading the labels, 
  • opting as much as possible for bulk and quality products, 
  • choose retailers that use less packaging, 
  • And, particularly, to focus on alternative materials such as glass, ceramics, aluminium, organic cotton, wool, bamboo, hemp, silk, leather, wood, cork and vegetable fibres. 

Bioplastic also does not seem to be a viable alternative, unless it is compostable, as the Ciel Report states.

Of course, COEX® is very sensitive to the issue, because it is a technology that arose from an approach that is not only respectful, but above all “aware”, that many of the most beneficial elements for our health our found in nature. In fact, made of COEX® fabrics are circular and sustainable products,  biodegradablecertifiedbut above all else, they are created with a plastic free, 100% natural life philosophy . 
Vegetable fibres and cellulose have a composition and qualities that knowledge and research can develop and enhance: COEX® technology!
So COEX® intends to continue to protect nature so that it continues to protect us, in the most diverse situations and contexts.

With COEX® nature protects you and you protect nature.

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