More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year! Packaging accounts for just over 40% of total plastic usage. Over 100 billion plastic beverage bottles are sold in the U.S alone each year. Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each with a “working life” of a mere 15 minutes.
Here are some simple ideas for you to adopt to reduce your plastic usage and waste:
- Take your own bag to the shops
- Drink tap water and carry it in your own stainless steel bottle
- Don’t buy body scrubs – those tiny beads are usually made of plastic
- Choose fruit and vegetables that are not wrapped in plastic
- Don’t use ‘single use’ plates, knives, forks etc. wash up after you eat.
- Wherever you can, choose liquid products that can be re-filled rather than bought new etc.
- Refuse plastic straws in your drinks, try stainless steel or paper.
- If you can’t find an alternative to single-use plastic, make sure you recycle it
- Don’t celebrate with balloon releases, the chances are the balloons will land in the ocean, choking seabirds, turtles and marine mammals.
- Use crystal deodorants – they last far longer, are more effective and some even come with no plastic packaging at all.
- Use good old-fashioned soap – it works as well as liquid soap and lasts longer
- Buy butter wrapped in paper instead of in a plastic tub
More information can be found at Plastic Oceans, and Less Plastic. Local groups and information can be found from Win On Waste, Plastic Free Bournemouth, Litter Free Coast & Sea and Wimborne War On Waste.
You could also try this quiz from Friends of the Earth to discover where plastic is lurking hidden in everyday items.