According to WWF there are eight million tonnes of plastic that ends up in our oceans every year, killing and harming marine life.
It has been estimated that 8.3 billion tonnes of virgin plastic has been produced to date. Of that, only 9% was recycled. 12% of that was incinerated with the further 79% accumulating in our landfills or the natural environment.
How is this survival? This about the survival of the planet and if that doesn’t survive, neither do we. From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet and we must do something about it now.
What can we do to reduce our plastic footprint? As it turns out there are lots of easy tips to reduce plastic waste that can be implemented in your lives today.
Tips to Reduce Plastic Waste
1. Turn the Plastic Straws Down
Single-use plastic straws get dumped into our landfills and often blow into our waterways, polluting beaches, lakes, and oceans all around the world. The good news is that England is planning on banning the use of single-use plastic straws and plastic stemmed cotton buds in a bid to cut plastic waste which according to ministers, in the UK alone, there is an estimated 8.5 billion plastic straws being thrown away each year. The straws themselves are often used for only a few minutes yet take hundreds of years to break down.
If I go to a cafe for a coffee, I don’t use a straw so why would I need one when drinking water or soda? The problem is not necessarily us ourselves but restaurants and bars that have the tendency to give you a plastic straw even before you have the chance to let them know you’d rather not have one. For this reason, when ordering your drinks be sure to let them know you don’t need one. If you do like to use straws with your drinks, consider using steel, bamboo, and glass straws that you can carry with you and can use them time and time again.
2. Use a reusable bottle
With the huge amount or reusable bottles available to us today, there is absolutely no need to be using single-use plastic bottles. A single person using a reusable, refillable water bottle instead of single-use plastic water bottles can save as much as 170 bottles from being produced each year.
3. Avoid Excessive Packaging
There are many companies that are guilty of using excessive packaging for their products. Chips and sweets are the worst. You buy a larger pack filled with smaller packages. If that is not unnecessary, I don’t know what is.
4. Have Your Milk Delivered
Having your milk delivered to your door seems to be a thing of the past but there are many places that you can still do this and have your milk delivered in glass bottles which can then be collected and reused. It is important that you understand, even the cardboard milk cartons are coated in plastic both inside and out. Many milkrounds also offer fruit juices too. Join the 4% of the British population who still get their milk delivered!
5. Reuse Your Carrier Bags
Here in the UK, we introduced a plastic bag charge which has seen a massive 85% drop in their use. Carry whatever works for you. Some people like reusable canvas totes. Others prefer to put their purchases into a backpack or messenger bag. Do what works for you.
6. Use Cloth Diapers
If you’ve got a young baby, you will already know that you can get through plenty of diapers in no time at all. Consider swapping out your disposable diapers for a cloth option that can be washed and reused.
7. Ditch the Cling Film
Cling film cannot be recycled but foil can. So if you are using foil, make sure you put it in the recycling bin after use! Another alternative is the new Beeswax Wraps that are made using 100% cotton, Pine Resin, Jojoba Oil and local Beeswax they are 100% natural and environmentally friendly.
8. Get Rid of the Gum
Almost all chewing gum available is made of plastic. Did you know that? I didn’t. This means that when you’re are chewing down on your favorite gum you are actually chewing down on plastic. But plastic-free chewing gum options do exist so shop around.
This was only 8 of the many ways that you can cut plastic out of your lives and reduce your plastic footprint. Want more? let us know!