Sustainable Living

5 EASY THINGS YOU CAN DO TO REDUCE PLASTIC WASTE AND WHY

WHY REDUCE YOUR PLASTIC WASTE?

DID YOU KNOW…the world’s oceans are drowning in human waste. Each year roughly 20 million tons of plastic will end up in our oceans and sea life and birds die from eating it or getting entangled in it. It’s estimated that there is now a 1:2 ratio of plastic to plankton in the ocean and if left unchecked, plastic will outweigh fish by 2020.

Scientists believe that this ocean plastic binds with other industrial chemicals that have polluted our waters for decades – this has raised serious concerns as to whether our oceans are becoming increasingly toxic. Toxic oceans mean not only danger to wildlife but also that there are dangerous chemicals in the seafood you consume.

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR PLASTIC WASTE:

1. BRING YOUR OWN STRAW.

This one is so simple. I was having dinner in a pub a few weeks ago and a friend ordered a Gin and Tonic. It arrived perfectly served, garnished in rosemary with not one but two plastic straws protruding from it! It made me think about how often I have overlooked this in the past and how easy it is to just ask for ‘no straw’. It’s bad for the planet and I guarantee the pub would happily cut it from their overheads. But if you’re like me and you have sensitive-teeth, you might want to try a zero-waste alternative.

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Stainless Steel Straw St (4 Straws/ 2 Brushes) £7

An Eco-friendly sustainable alternative – these reusable stainless steel straws & brush are the perfect replacement for those nasty plastic straws.

2. DITCH THE CHEWING GUM.

This one always makes me laugh because Craig (Co-Founder) has a phobia of chewing gum. I know it’s a bit mean but I can’t help but chuckle when he squeals at the sight of it.

But what’s this got to do with plastic? Well, did you know that chewing gum is made from synthetic plastic? Most brands list ‘gum base’ as the key ingredient but specialists say this is a mask for components such as petroleum, polyethylene, polyvinyl acetate, petroleum wax and latex. So alongside Craig’s phobia, this one was an easy ditch for me.

3. CHOOSE PRODUCE BAGS NOT PLASTIC BAGS.

In 2015 England introduced the 5p charge for plastic bags. I remember it being a repetitive topic in the news but now it’s a thing of the past – Most of us are used to stashing supermarket bags into our glove boxes and wedging them into coat pockets for our weekly trip to the shops.

So why are we still shopping plastic? Because plastic produce bags are everywhere: in the fruit and vegetable isle, at the cheese counter, in the bakery. The supermarkets don’t make it easy for us – how else are we meant to carry our carrots home? The answer is organic produce bags. They come in all different shapes and sizes, they are perfect for carrying your plant-based delights and they can be easily washed at home.

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Classic Tote Bag (£13.50)

This natural, durable and reusable classic tote bag is the perfect alternative – it’s made from 55% hemp and 45% cotton and is PETA Vegan approved.

4. BOX IT, DON’T BIN IT.

Have you ever found yourself with tons of plastic food containers or lunchboxes, likely left-over from that cheeky Friday-night takeaway? I have, and I hated the thought of throwing them away so I started to reuse them. After a few washes they become soft and stained with food debris and however hard you try to clean them you’re convinced that they will taint your avocado salad with Masala spices. So what now, do you throw them out?

I’ve relegated mine to the craft box – they’re filled with buttons and thread. Our recent adoption of a plant-based diet means no more plastic take away leftovers and I’ve swapped to boxing my lunch with stainless steel alternatives that can be easily washed and reused.

P.S. They are BPA-free. BPA-what? BPA is a chemical component found in polycarbonate plastic used for making plastic food and drinks containers. We are exposed to this chemical when using such containers as small amounts migrate from the packaging to our food or drink.

5. BRING A BOTTLE.

There is an astonishing amount of statistics circulating about the negative impact of plastic bottles, but we all seem to continue to buy them. But when you take a hard look at the facts, this may change your mind…Did you know that only 1 in 5 plastic bottles are recycled? Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose. It takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce plastic bottles yearly; this could fuel 1 million cars for a year.

The answer to this excessive problem is quite simple, bring your own bottle. Stainless Steel alternatives are a robust choice that last a lifetime, again they are BPA-free and practical for everyday use.

And now many public places are introducing water stops for free refills backed by the national campaign, Refill Britain. This practical tap water campaign aims to make refilling your bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing refill points on every street. Refill is currently happening in Bristol, Cornwall, Dorset, Devon, Bath and Bradford-on-Avon with Brighton, Norwich and Hunstanton launching very soon.

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Sports Water Bottle 20oz 595ml (£25)

Expedition Water Bottle 27oz 800ml (£30)

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