Over 12 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean each year, damaging (irreversibly sometimes) wildlife, plants and whole ecosystems.
In America, people use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
500 billion plastic bags are used each year.
Plastic fantastic? Not so much.
Some people are now saying that plastic waste is as big a threat as global warming.
Most plastics are made from fossil fuels and do not biodegrade, meaning that they do not naturally break down when they enter a landfill site the way that, say, a banana skin, does.
All of this is putting a strain on natural resources and leaving us with a whole lot of rubbish.
While the numbers look daunting at first, there’s lots you can do as an individual to reduce your plastic footprint.
Find out where it currently stands with this handy calculator from Greenpeace, then set yourself some targets and kick your plastic habit into touch.
Here are our top tips to get you started.
Get a Reusable Bottle & Coffee Cup
The first thing on your list should be to invest in a reusable bottle and stop buying single-use drinks.
There are lots of campaigns popping up to make it easier to fill up your water bottle, like Refill in Bristol.
Check out if there’s something similar in your area and be sure to get the app so you can see where the next water stop is.
In the UK, you’re also entitled to ask for tap water at any cafe or restaurant, even if you’re not eating, so don’t feel pressured into buying bottled water.
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Next, be sure to get a reusable coffee mug for your early morning fix.
There are lots of stylish designs out there, including compostable bamboo cups that you can throw away guilt free after a couple of years.
Many chains also give you a discount if you use your own cup too, so there’s even more incentive.
Use Soap Bars
Cut down on the plastic packaging in your weekly shop by making smarter choices.
Buy soap bars instead of the liquid stuff in plastic bottles to see an instant reduction in your plastic waste.
Get Your Own Straw
Straws are difficult to recycle because they’re not very bulky, and this trait makes them particularly treacherous to marine life too if they end up in the water.
You can buy biodegradable straws, or alternatively invest in a stainless steel one and take it around with you.
Make Your Own
Cut down on the plastic you buy and just make the product yourself.
Simply mix baking soda and water for a homemade shampoo that really works.
For a super nourishing conditioner add egg yolks to vinegar or lemon juice. Too easy.
There are lots of other recipes you could try, so take a trawl through the Internet and experiment.
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Grab some environmentally friendly eyewear with these bamboo shades:
Arbor FX-72 – Bamboo frame & Case
Like this? Discover 7 things to do with old glasses here.
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