Waste less plastic. That’s what we are told, and it’s what we need to do if we are going to help our planet and the species that inhabit it. Including ourselves.
However, it is easier said than done. Plastic is everywhere. Whether it is in our products or surrounds them, it is everywhere. This polymer is something that has become the norm. It’s versatile, easy to produce and has many good uses. So what do people not like about it?
There are many problems that plastic is causing to the natural environment, mainly plastic pollution. Some of you might have watched the BBC series of Blue Planet. I have always loved this series, and when I saw it starting to bring up issues such as coral bleaching and plastic pollution, I love the series even more. Since Blue Planet 2 was released there has been a realisation that we need to waste less plastic and use less plastic. A lot of people have got on board from the government to organisations such as Surfers Against Sewage to us everyday folk. Everyone is wanting to see a change in how plastic is used and produced.
There is plenty of ways which we can help reduce the amount of plastic that is thrown. With more and more ways becoming available for us to try and use less plastic. It has never been easier to get involved. You don’t have to sign up to organisations or dedicate loads of time. There are many simple ways that can be incorporated into our everyday life. This post is going to share some of the simple ways for you to start using less plastic in your day to day life.
Reusable Cups and Bottles
The UK throws around 2.5 billion disposable takeaway coffee cups a year. 2.5 billion! That is a huge number and the worst part is only a tiny percentage of these cups are actually recycled. Most of them have to be thrown away as they are a mixture of plastics and other materials. So one of the simplest ways to cut down on your coffee cup is to take a reusable cup to your favourite coffee shop. There are so many different types of reusable cups out there for you to choose from too. I have one is an Ecoffee cup. With the new trend in these reusable cups, many coffee shops are waking up to needing to change the takeaway cup and so are offering discounts on drinks when you use your own reusable cup.
If you are someone who doesn’t want to carry a reusable cup with you all the time, then that’s fine. Another way to use less plastic cups would be to eat in instead. Not only does this save on plastic waste but it makes us slow down. Our lives are so rushed, it’s nice to take the time to live slowly, eat in and appreciate the drink and food we are having. Simple mindful living. Cafe’s and restaurants who serve food will serve it with cups and plates that will be washed and reused. No throwaway plastic there!
Reusable Shopping Bags
Another easy way to use less plastic is by taking those reusable shopping bags with you. All shops in the UK now charge for plastic bags. This has deterred many of us from using them. I mean who wants to pay extra? So by taking my cotton shopping bags with me, I am using less plastic and saving money. The hardest thing about this is remembering to take the bags with me! I have to have a pile of them in my room, a few in my car and one in my bag. That way I am pretty much covered for any shopping trip…. most of the time.
Reject The Straw
plastic straws are one of the most found pieces of pollution on any beach clean. There are millions of them floating around in our seas and they take hundreds of years to decompose, with some of them never breaking down and just floating around for life. One way to reject the straw is to not buy any plastic straws, there are plenty of alternatives available such as paper, glass or metal straws. The paper ones are single use, but they will decompose as they are paper. The glass and metal ones are reusable and cleanable. If carrying around a straw isn’t to your liking, then when ordering a drink think about whether you actually need the straw. If you don’t then don’t take it. Put the straw back, or ask the person serving you for no straws. Some pubs in the UK are now not offering straws at all and some have already made the switch to paper straws.
If you aren’t ready to start replacing items for reusable options, or able to switch any of the products you use, then an option to get involved with using less plastic is to simply raise awareness. This takes no time at all and is simple to do, it can be as easy as sharing plastic pollution videos and facts on social media. You could talk about the consequences of plastic with your friends and family and come up with ways to use less plastic together. Read up about the work that marine and plastic pollution organisations such as Surfers Against Sewage or Plastic Patrol (both UK organisations). The more awareness that is raised about this issue the more people will start changing their ways to help our oceans and waterways.
I hope to share plenty more ways to use less plastic and focus on natural, plastic-free items in the future. This is something that will take a long time to improve. The situation of plastic in the oceans is at a critical level and it will take many of us to help make that change. No matter how small your change may be, it is making a difference to marine life somewhere!
See you next time and happy adventuring!
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