Leyla Acaroglu: Paper beats plastic? How to rethink environmental folklore

Updated : Jan 13, 2020 in Articles

Leyla Acaroglu: Paper beats plastic? How to rethink environmental folklore

So imagine, you’re in the supermarket, you’re buying some groceries, and you get given the option for a plastic or a paper shopping bag. Which one do you choose if you want to do the right thing by the environment? Most people do pick the paper. Okay, let’s think of why. It’s brown to start with. Therefore, it must be good for the environment. It’s biodegradable. It’s reusable. In some cases, it’s recyclable. So when people are looking at the plastic bag, it’s likely they’re thinking of something like this, which we all know is absolutely terrible, and we should be avoiding at all expenses these kinds of environmental damages. But people are often not thinking of something like this, which is the other end of the spectrum. When we produce materials, we need to extract them from the environment, and we need a whole bunch
of environmental impacts. You see, what happens is, when we need to make complex choices, us humans like really simple solutions, and so we often ask for simple solutions. And I work in design. I advise designers and innovators around sustainability, and everyone always says to me, “Oh Leyla, I just want the eco-materials.” And I say, “Well, that’s very complex, and we’ll have to spend four hours talking about what exactly an eco-material means, because everything at some point comes from nature, and it’s how you use the material that dictates the environmental impact. So what happens is, we have to rely on some sort of intuitive framework when we make decisions. So I like to call that intuitive framework our environmental folklore. It’s either the little voice
at the back of your head, or it’s that gut feeling you get when you’ve done the right thing, so when you’ve picked the paper bag or when you’ve bought a fuel-efficient car. And environmental folklore is a really important thing because we’re trying to do the right thing. But how do we know if we’re actually reducing the net environmental impacts that our actions as individuals and as professionals and as a society are actually having on the natural environment? So the thing about environmental folklore is it tends to be based on our experiences, the things we’ve heard from other people. It doesn’t tend to be based
on any scientific framework. And this is really hard, because we live in incredibly complex systems. We have the human systems of how we communicate and interrelate and have our whole constructed society, We have the industrial systems,
which is essentially the entire economy, and then all of that has to operate within the biggest system, and, I would argue, the most important, the ecosystem. And you see, the choices that we make as an individual, but the choices that we make in every single job that we have, no matter how high or low
you are in the pecking order, has an impact on all of these systems. And the thing is that we have to find ways if we’re actually going to address sustainability of interlocking those complex systems and making better choices that result in net environmental gains. What we need to do is we need to learn to do more with less. We have an increasing population, and everybody likes their mobile phones, especially in this situation here. So we need to find innovative ways of solving
some of these problems that we face. And that’s where this process called
life cycle thinking comes in. So essentially, everything that is created goes through a series of life cycle stages, and we use this scientific process called life cycle assessment, or in America, you guys say life cycle analysis, in order to have a clearer picture of how everything that we do in the
technical part of those systems affects the natural environment. So we go all the way back to the extraction of raw materials, and then we look at manufacturing, we look at packaging and transportation, use, and end of life, and at every single one of these stages, the things that we do have an interaction with the natural environment, and we can monitor how that interaction is actually affecting the systems and services that make life on Earth possible. And through doing this, we’ve learned some absolutely fascinating things. And we’ve busted a bunch of myths. So to start with, there’s a word that’s used a lot. It’s used a lot in marketing, and it’s used a lot, I think, in our conversation when we’re talking about sustainability, and that’s the word biodegradability. Now biodegradability is a material property; it is not a definition of environmental benefits. Allow me to explain. When something natural, something that’s made from a cellulose fiber like a piece of bread, even, or any food waste, or even a piece of paper, when something natural ends up in the natural environment, it degrades normally. Its little carbon molecules that it stored up as it was growing are naturally released back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, but this is a net situation. Most natural things don’t actually end up in nature. Most of the things, the waste that
we produce, end up in landfill. Landfill is a different environment. In landfill, those same carbon molecules degrade in a different way, because a landfill is anaerobic. It’s got no oxygen. It’s tightly compacted and hot. Those same molecules, they become methane, and methane is a 25 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. So our old lettuces and products that we have thrown out that are made out of biodegradable materials, if they end up in landfill, contribute to climate change. You see, there are facilities now that can actually capture that methane and generate power, displacing the need for fossil fuel power, but we need to be smart about this. We need to identify how we can start to leverage these types of things that are already happening and start to design systems and services that alleviate these problems. Because right now, what people do
is they turn around and they say, “Let’s ban plastic bags. We’ll give people paper because that is better for the environment.” But if you’re throwing it in the bin, and your local landfill facility is just a normal one, then we’re having what’s called a double negative. I’m a product designer by trade. I then did social science. And so I’m absolutely fascinated by consumer goods and how the consumer goods that we have kind of become immune to that fill our lives have an impact on the natural environment. And these guys are, like, serial offenders, and I’m pretty sure everyone in this room has a refrigerator. Now America has this amazing ability to keep growing refrigerators. In the last few years, they’ve grown one cubic foot on average, the standard size of a refrigerator. And the problem is, they’re so big now, it’s easier for us to buy more food that we can’t eat or find. I mean, I have things at the back of my refrigerator that have been there for years, all right? And so what happens is, we waste more food. And as I was just explaining,
food waste is a problem. In fact, here in the U.S., 40 percent of food purchased for the home is wasted. Half of the world’s produced food is wasted. That’s the latest U.N. stats. Up to half of the food. It’s insane. It’s 1.3 billion tons of food per annum. And I blame it on the refrigerator, well, especially in Western cultures, because it makes it easier. I mean, there’s a lot of complex
systems going on here. I don’t want to make it so simplistic. But the refrigerator is a serious contributor to this, and one of the features of it is the crisper drawer. You all got crisper drawers? The drawer that you put your lettuces in? Lettuces have a habit of going soggy in the crisper drawers, don’t they? Yeah? Soggy lettuces? In the U.K., this is such a problem that there was a government report a few years ago that actually said the second biggest offender of wasted food in the U.K. is the soggy lettuce. It was called the Soggy Lettuce Report. Okay? So this is a problem, people. These poor little lettuces are getting thrown out left, right and center because the crisper drawers are not designed to actually keep things crisp. Okay. You need a tight environment. You need, like, an airless environment to prevent the degrading that
would happen naturally. But the crisper drawers, they’re just a drawer with a slightly better seal. Anyway, I’m clearly obsessed. Don’t ever invite me over because I’ll just
start going through your refrigerator and looking at all sorts of things like that. But essentially, this is a big problem. Because when we lose something
like the lettuce from the system, not only do we have that impact
I just explained at the end of life, but we actually have had to grow that lettuce. The life cycle impact of that lettuce is astronomical. We’ve had to clear land. We’ve had to plant seeds, phosphorus, fertilizers, nutrients, water, sunlight. All of the embodied impacts in that lettuce get lost from the system, which makes it a far bigger environmental impact than the loss of the energy from the fridge. So we need to design things like this far better if we’re going to start addressing
serious environmental problems. We could start with the crisper drawer and the size. For those of you in the room who do design fridges, that would be great. The problem is, imagine if we actually started to reconsider
how we designed things. So I look at the refrigerator as a sign of modernity, but we actually haven’t really changed the design of them that much since the 1950s. A little bit, but essentially they’re still big boxes, cold boxes that we store stuff in. So imagine if we actually really started to identify these problems and use that as the foundation for finding innovative and elegant design solutions that will solve those problems. This is design-led system change, design dictating the way in which the system can be far more sustainable. Forty percent food waste is a major problem. Imagine if we designed fridges that halved that. Another item that I find fascinating is the electric tea kettle, which I found out that you don’t do tea kettles in
this country, really, do you? But that’s really big in the U.K. Ninety-seven percent of households in the United Kingdom own an electric tea kettle. So they’re very popular. And, I mean, if I were to work with a design firm or a designer, and they were designing one of these, and they wanted to do it eco, they’d usually ask me two things. They’d say, “Leyla, how do I
make it technically efficient?” Because obviously energy’s
a problem with this product. Or, “How do I make it green materials? How do I make the materials green in the manufacturing?” Would you ask me those questions? They seem logical, right? Yeah. Well I’d say, “You’re looking at the wrong problems.” Because the problem is with use. It’s with how people use the product. Sixty-five percent of Brits admit to over-filling their kettle when they only need one cup of tea. All of this extra water that’s being boiled requires energy, and it’s been calculated that in one day of extra energy use from boiling kettles is enough to light all of the streetlights in England for a night. But this is the thing. This is what I call a product-person failure. But we’ve got a product-system failure
going on with these little guys, and they’re so ubiquitous, you
don’t even notice they’re there. And this guy over here, though, he does.
He’s named Simon. Simon works for the national
electricity company in the U.K. He has a very important job of monitoring all of the electricity coming into the system to make sure there is enough so it powers everybody’s homes. He’s also watching television. The reason is because there’s a unique phenomenon that happens in the U.K. the moment that very popular TV shows end. The minute the ad break comes on, this man has to rush to buy nuclear power from France, because everybody turns their kettles on at the same time. (Laughter) 1.5 million kettles, seriously problematic. So imagine if you designed kettles, you actually found a way to
solve these system failures, because this is a huge amount of pressure on the system, just because the product hasn’t
thought about the problem that it’s going to have when it exists in the world. Now, I looked at a number of
kettles available on the market, and found the minimum fill lines, so the little piece of information that tells you how much you need to put in there, was between two and a five-and-a-half cups of water just to make one cup of tea. So this kettle here is an example of one where it actually has two reservoirs. One’s a boiling chamber, and one’s the water holder. The user actually has to push that button to get their hot water boiled, which means, because we’re all lazy, you only fill exactly what you need. And this is what I call behavior-changing products: products, systems or services that intervene and solve these problems up front. Now, this is a technology arena, so obviously these things are quite popular, but I think if we’re going to keep designing, buying and using and throwing out these kinds of products at the rate we currently do, which is astronomically high, there are seven billion people who live in the world right now. There are six billion mobile phone subscriptions as of last year. Every single year, 1.5 billion mobile phones roll off production lines, and some companies report their production rate as being greater than the human birth rate. One hundred fifty-two million phones
were thrown out in the U.S. last year; only 11 percent were recycled. I’m from Australia. We have a
population of 22 million — don’t laugh — and it’s been reported that 22 million phones are in people’s drawers. We need to find ways of solving
the problems around this, because these things are so complicated. They have so much locked up inside them. Gold! Did you know that it’s actually cheaper now to get gold out of a ton of old mobile phones than it is out of a ton of gold ore? There’s a number of highly complex and valuable materials embodied inside these things, so we need to find ways of encouraging disassembly, because this is otherwise what happens. This is a community in Ghana, and e-waste is reported, or electronic waste is reported by the U.N. as being up to 50 million tons trafficked. This is how they get the gold and the other valuable materials out. They burn the electronic waste in open spaces. These are communities, and this
is happening all over the world. And because we don’t see the ramifications of the choices that we make as designers, as businesspeople, as consumers, then these kinds of externalities happen, and these are people’s lives. So we need to find smarter, more systems-based, innovative solutions to these problems, if we’re going to start to live
sustainably within this world. So imagine if, when you bought your mobile phone, your new one because you replaced your old one — after 15 to 18 months is the average time that people replace their phones, by the way — so if we’re going to keep this kind of expedient mobile phone replacing, then we should be looking at closing the loop on these systems. The people who produce these phones, and some of which I’m sure
are in the room right now, could potentially look at doing what
we call closed-loop systems, or product system services, so identifying that there is a market demand and that market demand’s not going to go anywhere, so you design the product to solve the problem. Design for disassembly, design for light-weighting. We heard some of those kinds of strategies being used in the Tesla Motors car today. These kinds of approaches are not hard, but understanding the system and then looking for viable, market-driven consumer demand alternatives is how we can start radically altering the sustainability agenda, because I hate to break it to you all: Consumption is the biggest problem. But design is one of the best solutions. These kinds of products are everywhere. By identifying alternative ways of doing things, we can actually start to innovate, and I say actually start to innovate. I’m sure everyone in this room is very innovative. But in the regards to using sustainability as a parameter, as a criteria for fueling systems-based solutions, because as I’ve just demonstrated
with these simple products, they’re participating in these major problems. So we need to look across the entire life of the things that we do. If you just had paper or plastic — obviously reusable is far more beneficial — then the paper is worse, and the paper is worse because it weighs four to 10 times more than the plastic, and when we actually compare,
from a life cycle perspective, a kilo of plastic and a kilo of paper, the paper is far better, but the functionality of a plastic or a paper bag to carry your groceries home is not
done with a kilo of each material. It’s done with a very small amount of plastic and quite a lot more paper. Because functionality defines environmental impact, and I said earlier that the designers
always ask me for the eco-materials. I say, there’s only a few materials
that you should completely avoid. The rest of them, it’s all about application, and at the end of the day, everything
we design and produce in the economy or buy as consumers is done so for function. We want something, therefore we buy it. So breaking things back down and delivering smartly, elegantly, sophisticated solutions that take into consideration the entire system and the entire life of the thing, everything, all the way back to the extraction
through to the end of life, we can start to actually find
really innovative solutions. And I’ll just leave you with one very quick thing that a designer said to me recently
who I work with, a senior designer. I said, “How come you’re not doing
sustainability? I know you know this.” And he said, “Well, recently I pitched
a sustainability project to a client, and turned and he said to me, ‘I know it’s going to cost less, I know it’s going to sell more, but we’re not pioneers, because
pioneers have arrows in their backs.'” I think we’ve got a roomful of pioneers, and I hope there are far more pioneers out there,
because we need to solve these problems. Thank you. (Applause)


  • If methane is a green house gas then we had better cut down all the trees then because they release lots  of it,  whole clouds of methane rising up from each forest.
    Pisses me off when people talk shit with an authoritative stance  

  • When they talk about sustainability they are talking about Agenda 21 if you do not know what agenda 21 is you better look it up becuz its bad there's enough food to feed the world twice over but there isn't profit out of it sustainability is bs people don't fall for the elitist lies research it on ur own the world is fine it's the greed of human nature that makes everything look bad becuz we continue to but new things and throw the other perfectly working objects always to buy the newer version of something example iPhones research agenda 21 and you see what I'm talking about and you see why they try to call it by a different name

  • Did she just seriously say plastic over paper because of weight? or were we supposed to be sold on deforestation?
    So, a decade from now, when that forest/tree farm has considerably recovered and your plastic bag is still circling around the ocean…? 
    Better yet, get a reusable bag. 

  • Most stores automatically put our purchases in a plastic bag. At a local corner store, I watched a line of customers buy a chocolate bar, or a bag of potato chips or cigarettes. Each purchase automatically went in a plastic bag. But who needs a plastic bag for a single chocolate bar. It's crazy. Whenever I buy something, I have to remember to tell the sales clerk that I don't need a bag. But I'm one of the very few who bothers. Most people just pick up the bag, often with a single item in it, and leave the store. And that bag, which could be reused many times, goes straight in the garbage.
    Also, I love a mug of tea but my wife doesn't drink tea or coffee much. So I tend to make single mugs for myself. The minimum level on our perfectly average kettle is around 50 oz (about 6 cups). I have a 12 oz mug, so I have to boil four times as much water as I need and to be honest it drives me nuts. And I actually bought the kettle because it was the one with the lowest minimum water level I found. As Ms Acaroglu says, it is just bad design. We're not taking responsibility.

  • I rarely take plastic bags as I always have reusable bags with me. But have you noticed it's almost impossible to get a decent, strong, plastic bag any more. I like to have a few strong ones around the house but nobody has them any more.

  • Holland is now disusing a system were all shops no longer having free bags for customers. they will have them for sale for 10 or 15 cents. this is the an article about it in dutch. http://www.nu.nl/economie/3692640/minder-plastic-tasjes-als-klant-meebetaalt.html 

  • I got a problem with plastic and paper waste. Overconsumpulation is the biggest problem. Humans and greed = pollution and apathy most of the time.

  • Everyone, young and old, it's important that you get saved from the danger of hell!
    People of all ages have sinned, and the end result of our sin is hell, yet Jesus shall save anyone that will believe in him alone.
    Jesus Christ is the son of God (Entirely God and Man) who lived a life without sinning, died on the cross in our place for our sins, was buried, and was revived from the dead.
    Put your faith in him alone, and he will apply eternal life and forgiveness of sins to you.

  • Her BS makes double-talk sound like single word answers and makes a Politician green with envy. 70,000 words that say absolutely NOTHING!  

  • Well, I can't be bothered. I've been using the same cotton cloth bags for several years. The repeated use hopefully cancels out the environmental impact of their production. I like to think that spares me having to listen to any more of this.

  • They told us to go plastic, now plastic is bad. They tell us to go CFL, but they have mercury and will soon be "bad". Maybe for the environment, we should stop listening to them. And maybe they're wrong about AGW?

  • Next they'll be telling me the papers we were required to write in high school and college on the coming global ice age weren't correct, even though that was the solid consensus of scientists…of course that will never happen.

  • How about no throwaway bag at all? Bring your bags and get a 1% discount at the supermarket till would probably solve this issue quickly!

  • Hi,I bring my own cloth bag for groceries or I use a discarded carton box from the supermarket.Have been doing this for years.You won't be surprised to hear that I make my own running sandals from scrap material.

  • I'd like to know which company was afraid of the arrows. I guess they'd rather stare down the barrel of obsolescence from the wrong end. This was a great talk about understanding the big picture, no matter what you're creating.  

  • plastic always it last longer common sense people, save them and when you don't need them anymore gather them all at once and then throw them in the ocean. save gas, reduce green house gasses and help the environment, baby pandas will thank you.

  • the thing about paper though, is that it's 100% renewable.  80 years ago we had 20% of the trees we do now, but thanks to the paper industry, we have way more trees.  recycling paper is idiotic though, since it can be produced through 100% natural means (growing) and is 100% biodegradable.

  • Is this another Agenda 21 Animals and Tress are better than human beings and Population reduction (genocide) sustainability (Communism) Sustainable communities (Government gestapo controlled future) Sounds Great ! 

  • This whole video could be a lot shorter if she started with the 3rd option – Keeping your muslin bags in the car to use instead of either paper or plastic.

  • This whole video could be a lot shorter if she started with the 3rd option – Keeping your muslin bags in the car to use instead of either paper or plastic.

  • When it comes to the bag I think it's really a social problem. At least over here, I don't see a lot of people reuse perfectly good bags. I even get strange looks sometimes when I don't want a bag, because I already have one..

  • Solutions:

    "Blanket fridge", make fridges like a bag instead of a box.  A fridge made from highly insulated but FLEXIBLE material that you can roll up, you roll it up so it's just big enough for the food it contains right now.  No more wasted energy cooling empty space in your fridge.

    Smartphone robots.  Make old phones into tiny personal robots, something that can climb around your house doing chores (even plugging themselves in to charge), or perch on your shoulder like a familiar, a helpful pet.  Come on people it's the future, personal robots are way overdue!  Smartphones already contain everything a robot needs except for a way to move: arms/legs/wheels.

  • OR you just use that old cotton bag, That one you already carry with you, neatly folded, in  in your handbag for years. Why would one need either paper OR plastic?

  • You want to do the right thing, witch??  Stop war in the middle east! 
    Stop the zionist bankers!  Stop hunger around the world.
    Fuck the animals, the whales, the owls, the insects.  Focus on God that created the environment, instead of worshiping nature.

  • i absolutely agree with Leyla's comment on How we should strive to do more with less, instead of just needing more and more. Bio methane from landfills has strong potential in becoming an energy source. Quite a lot of companies including utilities are buying waste from landfill to produce bio-methane. 

  • must watch! sustainability is all over my mind! i love this lady Leyla Acaroglu from australia. One of the best TED talk on sustainability and product service system.

  • This speaker seems to be unaware the following:

    1) Grocery Stores have incentivized people to use their own reusable bags, by adding a small charge – example 5cents per plastic bag.

    2) Green Bin Programs that are already in place to divert compostable materials away from landfill, thus preventing the production of methane gases (contrary to her example in the video).

  • While people argue about plastic vs paper, evil people in power destroying  human kind and our planet: www.vice.com/read/karlos-zurutuza-on-iraq-unfolding-medical-nightmare

  • E-conundrums are such a challenge especially when we've got so many opinions of what impacts the environment most. Thanks to Leyla for raising these myths to the light and reminding us that we can't take the easy road and must THINK about our choices. 

  • Its too difficult to keep all these things in mind. Lets just live. One day the planet will kill all of us and then it will recover by itself. Peace….

  • Food bought and not used is not wasted it is stored, which reduces waste.  Its stupid to think that people buy food with their money just to throw it out.  This lady is a priest of fascism.  You college kids need to wise up or you'll all have a lower-European standard of living.  I've been to EU many times.  Do you want to pay twice as much for the same thing?  These fascists point out what may be look like a negative but never mention the benefits.

  • that's actually hilarious that everyone puts on their kettles at the same time. I wouldn't have even thought of something like that. And now I know I should measure what water 'Im putting in my kettle!

  • First world perspectives on sustainability. She lost me when she blamed refrigerators. How more first world can you get when you start blaming your appliances for your poor decision making. I hope she's wearing sustainable clothes, boots, and makeup. Finally she admits at 15 minutes that human consumption is the biggest problem. Story of Stuff project does a better job at discussing human consumption as an environmental problem. 

  • Love the dialogue!  I high-lights Layla's point, that these are all 'complex choices' and that ultimately it is HOW we use them that can have a greater impact (than many of us may realize).   Behaviour change & smarter, system based solutions/designs can help!

  • I'd say paper wins over plastic. Some people argue that paper comes at the cost of degradation of ecosystem. But America and other parts of world has enough land that people can make money use of otherwise unused land. And when they harvest the produce and the prospects gained encourage them to cultivate the plantation again. The whole cycle repeats. So, it is providing employment at the same time alleviating the affect on environment.

    Or, like someone pointed the bags the groceries bought in can be reused as trash bags thus cutting on the plastic bags made for trash exclusively. And please make sure the stuff you bought is put to good use without generating waste.

  • The plastic is killing millions of animals each year, with slow and painful deaths. Besides it remains in the environment breaking into smaller and smaller pieces increasingly toxicity. The massive use of plastic especially for single use or for a few days must stop before it's too late.

  • I drink my tea out of thermos bottles so I only heat the water once and drink out of it all day. But now I'm wondering if my flask will be recyclable.

  • If we want to look at Impact, why don't we look at The major impact? Agriculture, specifically livestock production. Because livestock production uses over 80% of the world's water, 75% of the world's deforestation, and has caused more nitrogen flooded zones than any of the impacts discussed in this talk. Should we not address the largest impact first?

  • I hate the plastic bags, I remember when there was only paper. The plastic bags are what I call "grocery condoms". The plastic cannot handle being actually filled without splitting apart. Grocery baggers waste them by the millions because they will not put any more than 4 or 5 items in a bag. An old fashioned paper bag will safely hold many times more than the flimsy plastic. Unless you want your groceries strewn all over your trunk or backseat then you have to tie each one. Even tied often your groceries will become damaged as the tied plastic bags roll around like a deflated football. There are very few uses for the plastic once you get them home. The few (very few. I always request paper) that do come home are used for wet garbage and that's about. Paper bags on the other hand are great. They hold a lot of groceries if packed properly. I often use them for trash cans as they are rigid enough to stand on their own. When packed properly and place side by side in the back of your car they usually always are still upright and unspilled when you get home. I burn wood for heat and the paper bags are great for getting a fire started. They fold nicely and many can stored away taking little space. The 2nd biggest reason I hate plastic bags (#1 is harm to wildlife) is not really the bag but is the baggers. Usually they are some kid still in high school. I watch go all out zombie when I ask for paper bags. I mean clueless. Most of them cannot figure out how pack the bags and start throwing everything into the bag without thinking. Like they do with plastic. The cannot see what is coming down the conveyor belt and formulate an plan for stacking. We're yalking putting a bang of onions on the bottom then canned goods on top.They have no idea how to select items that will stack well on top or beside each other. Most of the time I either bag them myself or have to instruct the bagger how to load. Some of these teenagers today are really, really stupid. Forty years when I bagged groceries at my first job I learned quickly how load a grocery bag.

  • Where are the days people took their own bag their pans and bowls to the local vender reusable 1000th of times we were eaten local food, use local economy we walked, maybe we have to rethink our way of live take a step back before we lose all.

  • Love the meaning behind this video and the idea of looking at the whole picture rather than just a part of it. For me currently I’m not reaching for either paper or plastic bag but rather my reusable cotton or preferably bamboo shopping bag since both are reusable and grow far faster than trees. As for the kettle, that’s something that has driven me insane about our kettle for years, it’s nice to know that someone has been listening to the issues of the world and tried to change things.

    As for the final point with the mobile phones, a hundred percent behind the idea of a company taking responsibility for their product, also a firm believer that recycling items like this should be far easier then it is currently because right now I still can’t throw my mobile phone, keyboard, old computer or whatever else in my recycling it’s meant to be taken back to the store and even then it’s only for mobile phones the store doesn’t have a big enough recycling area for my keyboard let alone my old computer.

  • Why are people in the comments so angry when they are told their preconceived opinions are wrong? It was an interesting video even if you don't agree with everything

  • And another thing that happens during ad breaks here in the uk is that the sewers fill up when everyone goes the toilet at the same time. During half time in football matches, it’s even worse.

  • PR Representative. “We need more research” “if I speak long enough about nothing I’ll confuse and pacify my activist audience” “I am an industry hack. I am an apath-izor” “these problems are too complicated people there is really nothing you can do about just go home and watch tv” “I’ll eventually design you out of these problems” “don’t stop buying and please don’t think.”

  • У нас в России, наоборот, большинство выбирает полиэтиленовые пакеты, а бумажные я видел очень редко, в основном в пекарнях, ресторанах, кофе и в некоторых супермаркетах. Выбирают в основном, из-за того, что просто покупать полиэтиленовые пакеты дешевле, в части супермаркетов их бесплатно дают.

  • I get the negatives of paper but (ultimately) it breaks down and decomposes. As far as I'm aware plastic never truly does. I'm talking about it as a material beyond just bags. With the massive problem of plastics in our oceans, rivers, soil, living organisms. This must outweigh all other aspects?

  • Sisal, straw, hemp, and paper are far easier for a child to utilize.
    Try making a plastic bag at home.
    Try making nylon rope at home.
    Glass is far easier than plastic, regardless of the safety issues.
    Paper is universal, reuseable, biodegradeable, recycleable, and SAFE.

  • This was a really good one. Designing a circular economy is key to prevent an environmental and social collapse…

  • Awesome speech. Maybe the speaker does it too fast, but she explains clearly the core of the environmental issue. It's not a question of avoiding always the plastics, but of reducing consumption, first of all and, considering a variety of factors that determine the environmental impact.

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