300 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year, half of which is for single use, ie. not recyclable. More than 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year. Depending on the type of plastic, it can take 500 - 1000 years or more to break down. You can see the issue here…
Here is a Quick List of some easy changes you can make to reduce your plastic usage!
Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel one.
Use reusable produce and shopping bags. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often!
Give up chewing gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic. Yuck.
Buy products sold in cardboard boxes or glass instead of plastic, which can be easily recycled.
Reuse containers or invest in Tupperware for storing leftovers to avoid cling film/ freezer bags/ zip lock bags.
Stop buying bottled beverages! Use a reusable water bottle. You’ll cut down plastic, and reap the health benefits!
Bring your own thermos or keep mug for hot beverages, even when ordering from a coffee shop.
Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use plastic containers and styrofoam.
Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. Plus you'll be eating fewer processed foods!
Don't use plastic cutlery at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your take-out box.
450 billion disposable nappies are used each year world wide, which contribute nearly 77 million tonnes of solid waste to landfills, and a disposable nappies takes at least 500 years to degrade. Switch to cloth nappies to reduce your baby's carbon footprint and save money!
Make freshly squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It's healthier and better for the environment.
Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner. Baking soda and Vinegar recipes can be found with a quick google.
Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor
Buy loose fruit and veggies - nature has already wrapped them perfectly!
Avoid Microplastics! These tiny pieces of plastic are commonly added to products like face scrub and toothpaste that are intended to be exfoliators, but they end up in the ocean. There are many biodegradable alternatives, so avoid items with “polypropylene” or “polyethylene” on the ingredients list.
Switch to using bars of soap, and consider trying bars of shampoo and conditioner to eliminate bottles. LUSH make wonderful products that don’t leave your skin and hair dry!
Create Eco-Bricks to re-purpose unavoidable plastics. To learn how how see our Eco-Brick Blog here: http://www.sealrescueireland.org/blog/ecobricks