We produce roughly 300 million tons of plastic each year and only half of it is disposable. World-wide only 10-13% of plastic items are recycled.
You may have seen news coverage of seas and shorelines strewn with plastic bottles, straws and other debris, but over the last year, another category of waste joined in the mix: personal protective equipment.
Since 2020, the products we are using to protect ourselves – masks, gloves, sanitizer bottles etc. – have been washing up on beaches and islands worldwide.
It’s time to reduce our plastic consumption and play a part in saving our oceans
Here are 6 ways in which you can help:
1. Carry reusable shopping bags
In the US, it’s estimated people use 100 billion plastic bags every year! Keep some reusable bags in your car and purse so you don’t forget them when you pop to the shops.
2. Shop at a farmers’ market
Local Farmers’ Markets are a great way to buy food that isn’t covered in plastic packaging, and even better the produce will be fresher and have a smaller carbon footprint!
3. Drink your coffee from a reusable cup
Single-use Coffee cups are likely to end up in landfills, meaning it will take years for them to break down. Treat yourself to a reusable cup to take with you – some coffee shops will even give you a discount.
4. Swap out bottles for bars
Instead of multiple bottles full of shampoo, shower gel, and conditioner, switch to bars instead. They use less energy to make, last longer and are typically made without sulfates and harsh detergents.
5. Ditch bottled water
Approximately 17 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic water bottles in the US each year! It’s becoming more convenient to use a reusable bottle with more public places now having taps to refill whilst you are on the go.
6. Steer clear of plastic straws
Plastic straws commonly end up polluting the world’s oceans, harming not only the environment but also marine animals. If you prefer to use a straw in drinks, buy metal or paper alternatives.
Of course, we can’t always be perfect when it comes to choosing a more eco-friendly alternative, but those 6 tips are an easy way of making a difference without having to dramatically change your lifestyle.