Humans spend their lives creating waste.
auum’s project tackles one of the major current causes of pollution: single use.
Half of plastics produced worldwide are meant to end up as garbage. It represents 200 million tons of waste per year. A recent Austrian study showed that eight out of ten randomly selected persons in the world had ingested plastic. Considering the fate of our waste, this is not a surprise. 35% to 50% of plastics are lost in nature while 20% to 40% are collected in landfills. Overall, more than three quarters of plastic items end their life in our land, our fresh water or our oceans. Plastic waste needs hundreds and even thousands of years to degrade itself in the nature. This process disperses toxic nanoparticles all over the planet.
People tend to believe that plastic pollution is caused by other countries, other actors and other humans. Yet, in 2019, on the day before World Ocean Day, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) published a grim report on an "open garbage dump" in the Mediterranean Sea. Every year, 600 000 tons of plastic waste are thrown away by 22 seaside countries. The NGO points out that France is "the largest producer of plastic waste in the region, with 4.5 million tons of plastic waste produced in 2016 which corresponds to 66.6 kg of waste per person." NGO adds that "only 22% of this waste is recycled. This is a lower rate than Italy, Spain, Israel and Slovenia."
50% of plastics are meant to end up as garbage.
The best waste is the one we do not produce
Currently, we are unable to properly treat 98% of our plastic waste. Even all the technologies and logistics of the 21st century are not enough to deal with the entire amount of waste we produce every day. In the era of biodegradable waste, the conclusion is clear: the best waste is the one we do not produce.
The story of how single use was invented
Single use comes from the crossroads between scientific, technical advances and hygienic needs. In 1907, Doctor Crumbine took care of one of his tuberculosis patients in the street and observed him drinking from a public fountain with a public ladle. A few seconds later, he noticed a young girl using the same ladle to drink from the same fountain. Stunned by this very high-risk behavior, he decided to advocate against these public and shared utensils. Industrialists will answer this new need by offering a solution: Single use cups made of waxed paper distributed in all the public fountains. In the 1960s, with the rise of petrochemicals, paper was progressively replaced by plastic. Disposable cup is one of the leaders of the single use market, but several other products exist too: cotton buds, straws, food packaging, bags...
People throw away because they do not like to clean.
Single use was invented mostly because of sanitary reasons. Why was the public ladle observed by Doctor Crumbine not cleaned and disinfected between each use? The answer is very simple. This operation is very inconvenient! Clean the ladle requires a tub of hot soapy water, a rinsing tub, a sponge and the involvement of every user. Humans always choose convenience and minimum effort.
The incredible delay when cleaning
Times have changed, the main global concern is currently the pollution of the environment. auum draws your attention to the most important question raised by the following demonstration. Today, if people wanted to replace public ladles, shouldn’t there be another solution than the one offered a century ago?
Since the beginning of the 20th century, all technical domains have known major advances: Graham Bell's telephone became a smartphone, steam trains became high-speed trains, the Wright brothers' airplane evolved to allow the Voyager 1 probe to travel through our solar system. Last century was full of breakthroughs. However, dishes are still washed with a sponge or in the same cleaning box, the dishwasher. Everyone likes to travel or listen to music on their smartphone. But no one likes to clean. Our conclusion is simple: People tend to put so much more energy to develop the things they like. This is why cleaning is in the blind spot of innovation.
Cleaning can evolve and become easy, fast, and practical. Great cleaning is the best solution to offer a second life to our daily items, then a third, then a hundredth towards an endless reuse in order to ultimately end single use.
"We invent the modern cleaning that people need to eradicate single use"
The most environmentally friendly glass is the one that does not belong to us
Take a glass only if you need one. The rest of the time, this glass is dedicated to the needs of others. Glasses are stored near the place of consumption. It creates a place of joy and conviviality.
Our goal is to provide a simple solution which is adapted to your needs, not more. The glass is recyclable infinitely and perfectly adapted to hot or cold beverage consumption.