Is the Loom Band Craze an ‘Eco Ticking Timebomb’?September 19, 2014
Over the summer, loom bands seem to have taken over Britain! Everywhere you turn there are people making them, selling them, wearing them, talking about them. They even made it to the news channels! The man behind these captivating bands is, Cheong Choon Ng, from Michigan, USA. He thought of the idea when he watched his daughters make rubber band jewellery, and due to the worldwide craze that was to follow, he is now a multi-millionaire!
What are loom bands?
For those of you who have managed to escape the loom band craze, loom bands are tiny, colourful elastic bands that can be woven together to form chains that can be made into jewellery, such as bracelets and necklaces – and even items of clothing!
So, why are they an ‘eco ticking timebomb’?
Despite the bands providing hours of entertainment for children (much to their parent’s appreciation!) the bands themselves pose a threat to the wider environment. They are made from a type of plastic or silicone that does not break down naturally. Therefore, they cannot be recycled and are being discarded in the streets.
Environmentalists want to introduce a way in which the loom bands can be disposed of in a safer and more responsible way, that protects the environment. WasteConnect, are experts in the field of recycling, and have also agreed the loom bands are an escalating problem.
Hazardous to animals
Not only are these unsustainable products damaging to the environment, but they also pose a threat to animals. If left in the streets there is a great chance that dogs and cats could choke on them, and if the bands find their way to the sea, this threat could spread wider to marine life and seabirds too!
What’s being done about it?
In America, a petition has been set up online to place a ban on loom bands until a more sustainable way of creating and disposing of them has been introduced.
Private recycling company, Recoup, have stated; ‘If the craze continues, schemes will need to be put in place to deal with the looms and people now need to be made aware of not throwing them in the bin or on the ground. I don’t yet know how they could be recycled but I’m sure we can look into it further and try to come up with a solution.’
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