We know we’re in the throes of winter, but if you’ve noticed it’s been particularly mild this year, you’re not alone. Australian temperatures have been surging, with an accompanied rise in carbon dioxide according to a study from the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University.
“Human interference in the global climate is now apparent,” said the authors of the study. And whilst this is hardly new or shocking information, it seems that our disrespect of the environment is now impacting human health. “The more we know, the worse it looks.” Yikes.
Unfortunately, humanity’s effects on the environment are not only harming our health through the air either. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is set to conduct reviews into the safety of drinking bottled water after a new study of the worlds top brands found that 90 per cent contained microplastics. On average, the study conducted by the State University of NY on behalf of Orb Media, found an average of 325 tiny plastic particles per litre of drinking water.
“The public are obviously going to be concerned about whether this is going to make them sick in the short term and the long term,” said Bruce Gordon of WHO when talking to the BBC.
“When we think about the composition of the plastic, whether there might be toxins in it, to what extent they might carry harmful constituents, what actually the particles might do in the body – there’s just not the research there to tell us,” said Gordon.
But where is all this pollution and plastic waste coming from? You and I, and the products we use.
And while the news looks dire right now, and the environment has taken somewhat of a backseat in the global consciousness, all is not lost. There are changes you can make today that will benefit not only the world, but the health of every other living creature. And there are brands out there working towards a more sustainable future.
It makes sense that brands leading the charge come from the world of environment-adjacent sports like surfing, with one particular Aussie brand riding a wave of innovation to combat plastic use. Over the past year, the team behind wetsuit brand Project Blank have been working on ways to eliminate plastic from their supply chain, prioritising the use of plant-based solutions, regenerative fibres and recycled materials wherever possible.
Starting their enviro-crusade with their Yulex wetsuit collection, EcoPure tail pads, 100 per cent recycled apparel range and upcycling initiatives with Upparel & Into Carry, the brand has given rise to some exciting steps in the right direction. Sustainability is at the heart of everything Project Blank undertakes, meaning cleaner manufacturing, bio-degradable packaging, and tangible partnerships that positively impact the environment & communities we live in. However, as any business owner will tell you, sometimes using plastic can’t be avoided. Yet despite the challenges plastic neutrality is a realistic way to mitigate the impact of a plastic footprint. As a brand, Project Blank’s goal is to become part of the solution, not part of the problem, and now they are proud to say that Project Blank is 100 per cent plastic neutral.
Through a collaboration with the pioneers at Plastic Bank, we have committed to stopping over 250,000 single-use plastic bottles from entering the ocean by 2024.
Plastic Bank is helping stop ocean plastic by building ethical recycling ecosystems in coastal communities around the world; reprocessing the materials collected for reintroduction into the global manufacturing supply chain. Hero collectors gather plastic waste from their local beaches, riverbanks and even households, exchanging it for a credit that helps support the basic needs of their families, such as groceries, fuel, tuition and healthcare. Collecting plastic at the source helps prevent waste from ever reaching the ocean and by offering safe, secure, traceable sources of income, Plastic Bank is empowering vulnerable communities with a way out of poverty.
Partnering with Plastic Bank means that every Project Blank product sold over next 2 years will help empower these communities of ocean-lovers all around the world.