The Problem: Sustainability
Sustainability is a big issue in our world. I live in Hawaii and I see firsthand the consequences of plastic waste. On our beaches there are bits and pieces of plastic remnants from anything to fishing traps to containers and plastic bags. If we eliminated the use of plastic, starting with straws and utensils, we could be making a big difference in the world. Our beaches would be beautiful and not littered with plastic, animals wouldn’t be choking and dying on plastic bags, and we wouldn’t be ingesting fish that have eaten toxic microplastics.
This problem is important to me because I see it first hand, living on an island. I see all the plastic waste on beaches which is really saddening. We don’t want to kill our sea life, and we want our beaches to be beautiful and clean. Eliminating plastic waste would be huge for sea life and it would help eliminate pollution.
A: make plastic utensils
B: make biodegradable utensils
B: don’t buy
Nash Equilibrium is (A,B). This is because if companies play A, consumers want B, and if consumers play B, companies are indifferent between A and B, therefore we can pick (0,80).
Using oddments, you find the companies game and the consumers game. You find that the companies mixed strategy is playing A 15/29, and B 19/29 of the time. Then you find that the consumers mixed strategy is playing A, 0% of the time and playing B 180/180 of the time, or 100% of the time.
What all that ^^ means:
I discovered that the solution to our plastic waste problem is for companies to produce plastic utensils and consumers not to buy them. I did this by figuring out what the outcomes are if a company does this and consumers do that. When companies make plastic utensils and consumers buy them, the companies profit and the consumers get their utensils, but the environment suffers because that plastic will somehow find its way into the ecosystem. If companies make plastic utensils but consumers don’t buy them, the environment isn’t going to suffer and the companies don’t profit. If companies make biodegradable utensils and consumers buy them, the companies still profit, but not as much, while the environment doesn’t suffer and the consumers get their utensils. If companies make biodegradable utensils and consumers don’t buy them, then the companies don’t profit and the consumers don’t get their utensils. I was able to figure out that the best solution for everyone would be for consumers to make plastic utensils and have consumers not buy them.
If consumers don’t buy plastic utensils the environment doesn’t suffer, because this plastic waste won’t make its way into our ecosystem. This means we are a tiny step closer to becoming sustainable.
Pareto Optimal Polygon
This link is a YouTube video about edible cutlery. Although my project focus’ on compostable cutlery, edible cutlery is also a great alternative to plastic. This is just something to think about, and consider if maybe you would be interested in pursing this route of sustainability. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4Cc5zmy0eY
I have included a link to a survey I made below. This survey is about compostable v.s. plastic utensils, and I plan on sending the survey to companies that produce plastic utensils, assuming you have all taken into account my findings. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RRQSXHG
I have also included links to websites that sell compostable cutlery to promote the use of compostable cutlery.
Every year, there is about 8 million metric tons of plastic that is dumped into our oceans. There are also gigantic garbage patches of floating plastic in our oceans, the one most commonly known is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is the size of Texas. By 2020, the amount of plastic in our oceans is anticipated to increase tenfold. Just because that is what is expected, doesn’t mean that it has to happen. Yes, it is hard to make huge changes before 2020, but there are little changes that can be made. One plastic item that is easy to eliminate use of, is plastic cutlery. At my school, kids use plastic cutlery daily, and it is something I am guilty of as well. These one use items just get thrown in the trash, and some of it ends up in our oceans. There is an easy solution for this. Compostable cutlery. There have been creations of edible cutlery and 100% compostable cutlery, all which are environmentally friendly, and easy enough to obtain. Do your part in reducing plastic waste in the ocean, and make the switch.