Plastic? Where we’re going, we don’t need plastic…

October 21st might not be the most special day in terms of politics or world events, but any Back To The Future fan knows its importance as Back to the Future Day.

That’s because in the sequel to the time-travelling sci-fi adventure film from 1989, where Doc and Marty travel to the future, the date they program into the DeLorean time machine is 21st October 2015.

And, while the film might not have got everything totally right about what 2015 was going to be like (we wish we had Marty’s hoverboard), every year it gets us thinking about what we would make our city of the future look like if we had the power to time travel.

So, strap into the Brushbox DeLorean, because we’re about to jump into the future and see what it’s got in store…

21st October, 2045.

Doc and Marty travelled 26 years into the future and so are we. Except, we’re not fantasising about air-polluting flying cars and unsustainable self-drying jackets.

Instead, the future we’ve just stepped out into is fully of bike lanes, safe paths to walk down and the odd clean, quick, efficient and low-emission public transport vehicle; we’re dreaming that the citizens of 2045 will understand better than ever the implications of air and traffic pollution, and that councils and governments will have, too, making it easier for everyone to pick eco-friendly options for their travel.

The streets are lined with safe and hygienic bins and almost all packaging is now recyclable. In fact, the majority of packaging is reusable; everybody carries their own containers which they can take to supermarkets and fill up with what they need, avoiding buying excess. It’s a zero-waste success.

And fashion – well, fashion hasn’t changed all that much. That’s because people have woken up to the detrimental impact of fast fashion on the environment and have begun to upcycle their clothes and buy second-hand from one another. The same materials are getting a longer lifespan and people are reimagining ways in which they can wear the same clothes in new ways. The clothes we are wearing are the same, but the way we’re wearing them is different – which means no new waste, reusing what we’ve already got in order that we don’t worsen the problems already made by fast fashion.

The biggest change that’s visible everywhere is the lack of plastic. It’s been replaced by far more sustainable alternatives, like paper and – where more sturdy alternatives are needed – bamboo. Bamboo water bottles, lunch boxes, cutlery and coffee cups dominate as the eco-conscious public’s demand for plastic alternatives has driven plastic off the shelves and made way for environmentally friendly materials to become the new normal.

In fact, while tech and the Internet are useful in the year 2045 for finding out information quickly and shopping conveniently, our main concerns and progress haven’t been with tech (at least, in the Brushbox vision of the future). Ironically, it’s a return to the simpler way of life that’s dominated: less traffic, less plastic and less of all the business and waste that we’ve come to associate with modern life.

It’s this slower pace that allows people to think about and reflect on where their waste is going, mindful of their impact on the environment around them. In 2045, the general public continues to vote with their feet, demanding eco-friendly alternatives to products that have a harmful impact on the environment.

21st October, 2019.

Okay, okay – so we know that not everything in our vision of 2045 can come true, but it’s not impossible.

We believe at Brushbox that it really does just take one small change to begin changing the world; that if we all work together to change our habits and reject products and practices that are bad for the environment, that we can make long lasting changes for the future.

And, while we wish we had a DeLorean, changing the future for us isn’t as easy as travelling back and forth in a time machine. We’ve got to start making changes now, so that 5, 10, or even 26 years from now, we can make the world a better, kinder place to live.

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