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.