The plastic pollution problem is huge. It’s been receiving lots of media attention and this is in part thanks to the work of Sir David Attenborough. The global extent of plastic pollution was first highlighted to the world in his nature documentary series Blue Planet 2.
The series was truly heart- breaking as it showed the devastating impact that human activity is having on our oceans. Attenborough said everyone’s actions have an impact on the ocean. “We have a responsibility, every one of us.”
Even though the problem has gained much publicity the statistics on plastic are shocking. More than 8m tonnes of plastic leaks into the oceans and a recent study found that billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic.
Apparently only 5% of plastics are recycled effectively, while 40% end up in landfill and a third in fragile ecosystems such as our oceans. So, while we conscientiously use our recycling bins we need to ask the powers that be how much of our recycling is actually recycled?
Given these statistics it would seem that the only way we can improve the dreadful plastic situation is to end our love affair with plastics.
Remember the wave of panic that engulfed many consumers when the plastic bag charge was introduced by retailers? We soon got used to it and now it has become second nature. And it proves that we can change our ways. Since the introduction of the 5p bag charge scientists have found that there has been a drop in plastic bags littering British seas. This is obviously great news but so much more can be done towards improving our environment.
Here are five measures you can take towards plastic free living:
Try your hand at making your own beauty products. For example, by making your own soap and/or shampoo bars you could avoid using quite a few plastic bottles over the years. If you want to learn to make your own soap check out my soap making courses here.
Avoid buying products with plastic packaging or at least don’t pay for products that state their plastic packaging cannot currently be recycled. This will send a clear message to the producers.
Choose paper or cardboard packaging over plastic packaging whenever possible. Cardboard and paper can be more easily recycled than plastic.
Carry a reusable shopping bag with you. It’s not always easy to remember to take one whenever you go out but if you keep one in your bag or in your car you will always have one handy.
Invest in a refillable and re-usable plastic water bottle. I like the Sistema range as they are phthalate and BPA free and they have a great choice of colours.