There's an increasing understanding and urgency to produce and use less plastic, but the truth is we have become almost dependant upon it! It's so prolific in society all around the world where humans populate, that to stop consuming anything plastic seems impossible. 

There is ways that we should think about plastic though which will no doubt help to reduce the damaging effects of producing and consuming this human designed, synthetic and chemically made material. Plastic’s core ingredients, and its sheer pervasiveness are problematic from the get-go. Adding fuel to this (already toxic) fire is the fact that most plastics are single-use. By design, single-use plastics are intended to be used once before being discarded.

It is worth mentioning that RECYCLING as an option for our plastics definiately comes last in this list of considerations because they are difficult to recycle, and as a result, about 90.5% of all plastic is never recycled, instead being incinerated (12%) or making its way into the natural environment (79%).

It is also worth mentioning that:

  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans every year (equivalent to one bin lorry per minute).
  • It is estimated that by 2050, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish.
  • There are more microplastic particles in the ocean than stars in the galaxy.
  • Plastic pollution kills approximately a million seabirds a year, 100,000 sea mammals and uncountable fish and turtles.

  1. Reduce: Find alternatives to your plastic items. There are so many great alternatives to plastic now for day to day life. Think tooth brushes, reusable water bottles and coffee cups, soap bars etc
  2. Refuse: Do not purchase single-use plastics. Find alternatives and put your spending power into companies and products which do not contribute to the plastic waste problem. 
  3. Reuse: Don’t discard plastic, but reuse it, as many times and for as long as you possibly can.
  4. Repair: Prolong an item’s life by fixing it rather than throwing away and buying new. Get creative and repurpose. Remeber clothing often contains plastic fibres so be mindful when it comes to your wardrobe too! 
  5. Recycle: Choose plastics that have been made from recycled materials (and try to avoid greenwashed claims regarding this - are you purcasing from an ethical company?). Familiarise yourself with local recycling regulations and follow them.

The environment, and our impact on it, has become a huge area of concern. The use of plastics is one issue with devastating consequences for our environment. By following the tips above, you can reduce your environmental footprint, produce fewer emissions, keep plastic out of our waterways and help to save wildlife and preserve our precious ecosystem.