Plastic waste is a topic of major importance today. However, it became one of my major preoccupations only one year ago. Yes, that’s quite late for a 20-year-old, but… better late than never.
My parents are typical eco-friendly people — eating organic food, keeping a compost at the back of the garden, and restricting water consumption by taking shorter showers. When I was little, I always saw those things as boring and annoying. When all my friends were eating Nutella for breakfast, I had gross organic chocolate spread. When all my friends were saying how cool their swimming pool was, my parents were saying it wastes water needlessly. And when it came to recycling and separating the detritus, I just thought it was another weird thing my parents were doing differently from the rest of the world.
It took me some time to understand that it was actually the rest of the world that was wrong. I progressively changed my mind. The first step was my trip to Japan where many things are wrapped in plastic, with drink dispensers around every corner, but without any bin in the streets. I had to keep my rubbish in my bag all day long, and I realized how much plastic junk I created daily.
The second step was seeing my sister (who always seemed annoyed about my parent’s behavior towards the environment when she was young) starting to make her own cleaning products because it’s wholesome and it avoids buying new plastic bottles.
Finally, my trip to California fully convinced me of how essential it is to care about the environment, as they stopped distributing straws automatically in the restaurants to protect sea animals.
I was ashamed of those years not caring about the environment. But thus, I realized I have a chance to catch up for my lack of awareness. Today, I seek to pursue a zero-waste life, little by little, and to sensitize my friends to plastic waste. I’m proud to know I’m not on the wrong side anymore.