Life without plastic | DW Documentary How San Francisco Is Becoming A Zero Waste 1 year ago   12:08

DW Documentary
A Bavarian family has decided to do without plastic, to protect themselves from the toxins it contains. But plastic is an integral part of daily life nowadays. Will they be able to avoid it completely?


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Comments 167 Comments

The Pondering Minimalist
Come to think of it, people in the forest i.e. tribals don't use soap ! I was thinking about this point for years before coming up with a natural solution !
melo melooons
What is the point of a toothpaste without fluoride? The whole point of a toothpaste is to cover teeth with fluoride to protect them from cavities. Makes no sense otherwise. You spit out the water afterwards so it's not even ingested.
Instead of throwing everything away, they could use them as long as they last !
Tiffany N
A city in the heart of Silicon Valley informed its residents that most clear, opaque and black plastic and plastic bags have never been recyclable and to stop putting it in the designated bin. Imagine thousands of families which rely on take out food, plastic even to sell berries now realizing most plastic is not even recycled!
Anupam Ray
I use salt as a toothpaste.
Cognitive dissidence
Literally all products are plastic based watch the documentary called peak oil
Reading the comments I realized that most of people didn't understand why they throw away a lot of plastic things instead of using it since they already had it. They threw away the plastic that would be in contact with their food and the toys that the children put inside their mouths because it's toxic. It can cause cancer and infertility. That's the reason.
Use reusable plastic containers until unusable then change to glass.
Supermarket plastic wrapped foods and bags are one of the main problems.
It's more about responsible recycling than throwing everything plastic away.
Denisa Rossmüllerová
Hi, I’ve got a few tips to share with you if you’d be interested in living more sustainably but don’t know how or where to start! If not, just scroll past and have a cool day :)

-Something super easy: Download Ecosia. It’s a browser you can install as a Chrome extension. Except for the fact that they use 80 % or the ad revenue to plant trees worldwide. You plant a tree by making around 45 searches. So you do good by changing basically nothing.
-Littering. Do you smoke or know someone who smokes? Make sure they throw the cigarette butts in a trashcan. It’s made from plastic and takes at least 20 years to biodegrade. Same with bubble gums. Don’t throw them on the ground.
-Public transport. If you’re able, use it as much as you can. Or go by bike. You’ll feel better realising how much CO2 you save by not using car too.
-Plastic. We all know single use plastic is a big problem. It’s so easy to carry your own bag wherever you go! There are cloth sacks you can use for fruit/vegetables, also bread etc. I’ve been using a cotton one for years now. So you can say bye to single use plastic bags. Also zero waste shops are becoming more common! Google if you have some nearby and go shop into your own containers :)
-Buy secondhand things if possible. Not just clothes. Also sell or donate stuff, don’t throw away things you don’t have to.
-Don’t buy books but borrow them in a library or buy a Kindle and read e-books. They’re also easier to carry around!
-Women, research zero waste menstrual hygiene products. Think of the amount you’d save every month with a single silicone cup for example!
-Bottled water is full of microplastics. If possible, drink tap water and carry it around in a reusable bottle. (Or reuse simply a normal plastic bottle! I’ve had the same ‘single-use’ plastic one for 2 years now. They don’t go bad if you clean them.) You’ll also save money!
-Eat less meat and animal products in general. This is a point people stop usually listening to me. They don’t believe it makes a difference. Just google how much water you need to produce a single kilogram of meat. The Amazon was also burning mostly because people burned it themselves so they could plant soya etc there instead of trees! 90 % of that soya is exported to feed animals. So basically yes, eating meat supports deforestation. If you eat less meat, there’ll be less demand for it and there won’t be so many animals needed = more place for trees and fiels to feed humans. Noone’s asking you to be vegan. Just eat less meat. Participate in a #meatlessmonday perhaps? Or for example sometimes get tofu in an asian restaurant instead of chicken. Or go to a vegan restaurant from time to time. It’s up to you to create a habit suitable for you. I read that America should cut its meat consumption by half and Europe by one third.
-Order less stuff online.
-Order takeaways into your own containers.
-Did you know most of the plastic in the ocean are fishnets? Now I’m not really sure how to deal with this. I stopped eating fish but I guess you can research who catches fish without nets? Like those fish farms or something like that? If you have a better idea, let me know.
-Be interested in this issue. There are tons of tips on how to live more sustainable here on Youtube but also on Instagram and other social media.
I started doing so around a year ago by simply buying a bamboo toothbrush that reminded me every morning to live more sustainable that day.
It’s so easy and there’s no better time to start doing it than now.

A few more small tips:
Bathroom - shampoo bars are great and plastic free, as mentioned, bamboo toothbrush is a thing, wet wipes are plastic! Don’t throw them into the toilet.
Kitchen - before you buy stainless steel straws, ask yourself, do you really need them for yourself? How about you rather ask your local restaurants if they have thought about using these straws instead of plastic ones? It’s so easy, I just sent mine a message on their social media accounts. Also silicone parchment paper is great. Reusable for years. And in case you make ice in plastic bags, you can use reusable ice molds instead.
Garden/balcony - you can grow your own veggies so easily you’d be surprised! And pesticide free too :)

And my last point, be an example to your friends and family and spread the word! Maybe they’ll be inspired to live more sustainably as well :) I know all of this can be a bit overwhelming but just pick some of the stuff mentioned and do small steps! Good luck :)
Gabrielle Sunheart Crow Shield
the latest evolution
High taxes for plastic. And can be fully recycled
the latest evolution
I cannot live without plastic, because they are practical and lightweight. And it doesn't matter to me if the government imposes very high, or very high, taxes that make no sense.
There are ways to avoid the plastic wrap and packaging. Buy in bulk directly from wholesales and farmers, create a food co-op with like minded people in the community, begin canning and drying your own seasonal food and buy rice in huge bags from the Asian shops. But this has certainly inspired me on ways how to cut down and phase out plastic. I do know that our local Lidl store has a bin for unwanted packaging from produce bought there.
Miss D
That homemade toothpaste will destroy her kid's teeth. People need to ask toothpaste companies to package their product in biodegradable and reusable packaging.
Mariajen Xxz
and now what happened after years??😂🤣😂🤣
og jenny
Finally, a positive solution, regarding our recycling crisis
Big John
There is no such thing as plastic
Love Music
Medically sound to get rid of any plastic in your home that you can do without. A good lifestyle trainer for children The family will be in contact with enough plastic through transportation, communication (computers and perhaps stereos), medical.
Love Music
Can anyone please tell me what the last ingredient was in her toothpaste recipe?
Coconut oil, baking soda, xylitol...and wetting chalk?
Ju Stdoit
The reason they threw away the plastic they already owned instead of using them is because their aim wasn't a zero waste life, it was because according to them plastic is harmful to human health. Although, shouldn't they move into a place where nothing is made of plastice (furniture, ,floor, vehicles, etc.)
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How San Francisco Is Becoming A Zero Waste Life without plastic | DW Documentary 1 year ago   04:16

To watch the next episode about how Lauren Singer fit 2 years of trash in a single jar, click here:

According to the EPA, the national recycling rate in the U.S. is only about 34%. That means most of our solid waste goes to landfills and incinerators - including recyclable items like paper, glass, metal and plastic. Massive amounts of food waste that can be composted is clogging landfills, creating dangerous greenhouse gases. Many cities are starting to tackle this problem by implementing policies to help curb the waste by recycling and composting more. It's known as the "zero waste" movement, and San Francisco is on the forefront. Other cities that have zero waste goals include Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Austin, and Oakland. But San Francisco has been the most aggressive. In 2009 the board of supervisors passed an ordinance requiring all residents and business to recycle and compost their waste, making it the first American city to make composting mandatory. Its goal is to achieve zero waste by 2020, and it has diverted 80% of its waste from landfills so far. Now the city is getting attention from all around the world. Government officials from China, Italy, France, Denmark, India and many other countries have visited San Francisco's state of the art recycling and composting facilities in hopes of learning how to replicate its success.

For more on San Francisco's Zero Waste plan:

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Executive Producer: Laura Ling
Producer: Pam Torno
Cinematographers: Matthew Piniol, Spencer Snider
Editor: Lee Mould