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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] [Thematic Report] The plastic paper debate

by SSENYANGE APOLLO | 24-07-2021 22:27 Comments 6 recommendations 0

Paper kills trees and plastic doesn't decompose, which one should we prioritize to ensure carbon neutrality? 

Alot - and in particular the negative - has been said about plastic, and one wonders what then should man embrace to to ensure carbon neutrality.

It is well known to us that plastic is not eco-friendly, with its dangers rooting straight from the manufacturing process to its waste state. The question then, is what can be done to solve it all. 

Well, the revolution is now to eliminate plastic as much as possible and the main substitute that has emerged is paper! "Switched to paper, no more plastic" is now the trend among commercials. 

While this is convincingly good at first thought, we surely face greater friction when we think deeper about it. No more plastic is a good message, but switching to paper is rather saddening as it means more trees will be cut down. 

Paper comes from trees and the more paper produced, the more trees that are cut. We questionably tend to sidestep this fact pretending that we know the importance of trees in reducing carbon emissions, ensuring carbon neutrality for that matter. 
Think about how many trees are being cut to make the paper for the various uses. Ponder about the books, magazines and newspapers produced on a daily basis around the world, and of course the amount of trees from which they came, before advocating for more paper carrying bags. Why isn't the e-magazine and e-newspaper campaign not as strong? Why do we instead advocate for more paper magazines and newspapers in our "beautiful" slogan of "switched to paper"? 

I am not advocating for plastic use, but rather comparing it to paper use to show that they are both a greater disadvantage in our carbon neutrality struggle and that another alternative is highly desired. 

I have come to think about it deeply, and realized that it is not the plastic that is the problem but rather the human way of using and disposing it. Yes, carbon emissions maybe released during its manufacturing (just like in the manufacturing of paper), but its greater consequences that arise from it ending up in oceans and soil (animal, fish and birds stomachs too!) is primarily up to man. 

It is the way man disposes this plastic that threatens the environment. It is this essence that has caused the once cherished and convenient invention to be labeled dangerous. I am on the thinking that things would have been different had man acted appropriately in disposing it.

While the campaign for reusing, and perhaps recycling of plastic gets hold, the paper campaign is merely the use of paper materials, without mentioning that they need to be reused too!

The same challenge will definitely catch up with us in the future, with paper use! Once man does not embrace the habit of reusing, more paper will be on demand which means more trees to be cut down. Hence, my argument is that man has to primarily embrace REUSE, if we are to progress in our carbon neutrality struggle. 

All in all, I suggest that man should find alternative solutions excluding paper and plastic because they both have huge disadvantages. Advocating for paper bags is advocating for deforestation yet a cotton bag is a better alternative with reduced negative effects.
Photo credit: PreGel America PLASTIC BAGS: THE DEBATE CONTINUES – P Magazine


Yuseon Mentor

  • Yuseon Mentor says :

    This is your mentor Yuseon:D

    As you've mentioned, many plastic vessels are turning to paper ones.
    A lot of coffee shops have changed plastic straws to paper, and few totally got
    rid of them. Some of the consumers gave out their protest that it is convenient.
    Others argued that changing it into papers doesn't solve any problems because
    plastic are sometimes excellent in reusing.

    I think there are both sides of the coin.
    Thanks for sharing;)
    Posted 02-08-2021 03:03

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Greetings Ssenyange,
    I hope you are doing well!
    Very critical topic. Whatever, we do we have to think of sustainability.
    Thank you so much for your report.
    Keep writing
    Kind regards
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 31-07-2021 04:51

Debbie Mentor

  • Debbie Mentor says :
    Hi Ssenyange,

    This is your mentor Debbie :P
    Reading your report was very satisfying because it really pinpoints many arguments I've been thinking about. For example, Starbucks has recently turned from plastic straws to paper straws but to me they both seemed like not a good option. Of course one may think paper is more ecofriendly than plastic but how about those trees, right..? (How about not use straws at all, haha) Thanks for an inspiring article. I really appreciated reading it.

    Green Cheers,
    Posted 26-07-2021 07:40


    Dear Meena,

    Thank you so much for your compliment, I am grateful.

    Yes, I have filled out the form🙏🏾
    Posted 25-07-2021 09:28

Vivian Nabisere

  • Vivian Nabisere says :
    Interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing.
    Posted 25-07-2021 00:46

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Hello Ssenyange!!

    I hope you are fine and doing great.
    Thank you for sharing such an insightful report with us.

    The concept of plastic paper is completely new for me and I enjoyed reading the whole report.

    I want to give you a kind reminder to fill this form which will take just a minute so that we can get connected in the coming days too.

    Form link : http://forms.gle/G2Qa9iXjhDXxcWcr9



    Posted 24-07-2021 23:57

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