19 billion pounds of plastic is pumped into our oceans EVERY YEAR, and 20,000 plastic bottles are bought every second.
Given it takes plastic bags up to a 1000 years to decompose, and a plastic bottle up to 450 years to decompose ~ it’s imperative to not only find solutions for our existing waste, but to also reduce the use of plastic as much as possible.
An increasing number of whales are dying from plastic consumption each year. 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are merely the ones found and reported. Approximately 1 million sea birds also die from plastic per year.
It goes without saying that plastic in the oceans, especially those minute fibres which escape in washing machine washes, is ingested and consumed by sea life and mammals. Entering the food chain here, plastic goes on to enter humans.
WAYS TO WEAN AWAY FROM PLASTIC
- Skip straws, even in restaurants. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw and make it your handbag/rucksack companion.
- Use a reusable produce bag, canvass ones are especially longstanding.
- Switch boxes for bottles. Detergents for instance are available just as freely in cardboard boxes.
- Wherever possible, purchase food like pulses, cereal, pastas, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging and many shops are now installing these options.
- Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
- Use reusable bottles and mugs for your daily drinks such as teas, coffees, water, and juices on the go.
- Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use styrofoam.
- Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
- Avoid using plastic-ware at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your take-out box.
- Ask your local grocer to take your plastic containers (for berries, tomatoes, etc.) back. If you shop at a farmers market they can refill it for you.
- Transition to glass and lidded containers for lunches. Again, many sets are now available which are completely dishwasher/ microwave/ and hob friendly (minus the non-leak lids).
- Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.
Every little helps!