You’ve probably heard about the massive island of plastic waste that’s floating in the Pacific Ocean (affectionately known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch), but you may not know that there are strategies each individual person can use to reduce their reliance on plastic.
One place you can transform immediately: your cleaning supplies closet. As an environmentally-conscious person, you may cringe every time you throw away another empty plastic bleach jug—but you shouldn’t have to trade in your values for hygiene.
The Plastic Problem
Our oceans are filled with plastic waste, which harms sea life and pollutes our food supply. As a result, it’s estimated that Americans consume an entire credit card’s worth of microplastics each week. While many individuals make an effort to reduce their plastic usage, it feels ubiquitous in so many parts of daily life—especially in your cleaning supplies.
Many consumers have stepped up their recycling efforts in the past few years, but sadly it isn’t working. Only 9% of all plastic ever manufactured has ever been recycled. And while you may have lofty goals for recycling single-use plastic bottles, more often than not, the plastic you intended to recycle still ends up in a landfill, or worse, the ocean. Due to the high cost and difficulty of recycling plastic, spray bottles and gallon jugs of sanitizer often join over 5 trillion other plastic particles floating in the ocean, rather than getting reused.
Landfills are also filled with plastics from another source—athletic and tactical gear. When a pair of shoulder pads or a helmet gets worn out, it moves from the trash to the landfill. And while you may not be able to tell, even uniforms and carrier vests are made with fabric that’s filled with tiny plastics that also head for the landfill when they rip. Once they arrive at the landfill, that’s where they will stay for over 1,000 years until the hard plastics finally begin to decompose.
Between its ubiquity in our society and its inability to biodegrade, plastic is one of the toughest environmental challenges we face. Of the nearly 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that has been produced, 79% of it has been discarded into landfills and bodies of water. That’s 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic laying waste to the environment, one way or another.
A Better Strategy
With such a huge problem on our hands, each individual can find small ways to reduce their plastic consumption and increase the lifecycle of their current plastic products.
Rather than throwing your plastic cleaning supplies into the recycling bin and crossing your fingers, there are other, better ways to sanitize surfaces and gear that won’t harm the environment at all. An ozone generator or chamber can quickly sanitize and deodorize anything from sports uniforms to tactical gear to entire rooms—without any need for single-use plastics.
In fact, ozone is the most environmentally-friendly option when it comes to sanitizing large amounts of gear. On top of not using plastic, ozone is a naturally-occurring gas that won’t contaminate local water supplies when used. Ozone also preserves the life of your gear—meaning you won’t be sending broken plastic and tattered uniforms to the landfill each year. Since ozone operates on a completely dry cycle, your gear won’t break down as quickly as it does when treated with liquid soap and water.
Is Ozone Hygienic and Eco-Friendly?
You may be worried that a dry sanitizing cycle won’t completely refresh your gear, but we’ve even got that covered. Ozone is actually a more powerful antimicrobial agent than both bleach and iodine, so you can rest assured that ozone will make your gear completely safe to use.
Ozone also removes odor from gear and rooms. Those funky, musty odors that often hit you as soon as you walk into a locker room are actually caused by germs growing there. When ozone eliminates the germs, it leaves behind a fresh spring rain scent—and your locker rooms will be a much more pleasant place to be.
If you’re looking for a powerful sanitizing solution that won’t end up in a landfill or the ocean, ozone is the answer. Check out our Decon Zone, Sports-O-Zone, and Gear Blaster to see which ozone sanitizing system works best for you.
Ready to give up plastic? Reach out to us with any questions.