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We Need To Change the Culture If We Want To Get to a Circular Economy

Companies are trying hard to move toward circular packaging, with NGOs and advocates keeping pressure on top brands to take a bigger responsibility for single-use items they sell.

The circular economy involves diverting from the consumption of finite resources and eliminating waste from our system.

Unfortunately, almost all plastic follows a linear pattern, with only 14 percent getting collected and only 2 percent actually getting recycled in a circular loop.

Companies are trying hard to move toward circular packaging, with NGOs and advocates keeping pressure on top brands to take a bigger responsibility for single-use items they sell.

For example, Treehugger reports that Starbucks now offers the sippy cup with a molded spout in the lid, which replaces single-use plastic straws.

It is definitely a step in the right direction, but is it enough?

“Straws are a very small portion of the plastic entering the ocean, and now Starbucks customers can feel better about themselves and their good work for the environment because they have not taken a straw. It might even generate more plastic waste from people who now feel less guilty.”

The only way to build a truly circular economy is to change not only the cup but also the culture. We need to change the very concept of take-out meals and drinks. Think the way Italians drink coffee when they’re in a hurry — standing up at the bar and taking sips from porcelain cups. 



Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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