In the spirit of Plastic Free July, we’re challenging you to reduce your plastic consumption this July.
Whilst being completely zero-waste and plastic free sounds nice, it’s unrealistic. This is why we’re asking you instead to reduce where you can.
The Plastic Problem
We don’t want to scare anyone, but it’s important to understand the vast issue of our society’s plastic use and waste.
At least 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year. The majority of this (70% to 80%) is transported to the sea from land via rivers or coastlines. The rest (20% to 30%) comes from marine sources such as finishing nets, lines, ropes and abandoned vessels.
World plastic production has increased exponentially form 2.1 million tonnes in 1950 to 147 million in 1993 to 406 million by 2015.
By 2050, virtually every seabird species on the planet will be eating plastic.
As of 2015, more than 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste had been generated. Around 9% of that was recycled.
Whilst plastic bags take around 20 years to decompose, plastic bottles can take 450 years. Your first ever toothbrush, which takes about 500 years to decompose, is still floating around somewhere in the world.
More than 40% of plastic is used only once before being thrown out.
How You Can Reduce Your Consumption
So, what can you do to help? Here are some things to try this July:
- Get your hands on some reusables! Make sure you have a reusable water bottle, coffee cup and shopping bags that you can take everywhere with you. We recommend keeping them in your car or by your front door to ensure you’re never caught out. Refill is a great app that will show you where to refill your water bottle.
- Change your period products. Try reusable alternatives such as menstrual cups, period underwear and washable cotton-ads/liners.
- Brush your teeth better. Choose a toothbrush from a sustainable material such as bamboo. You can also get some great plastic-free alternatives to dental floss.
- Get rid of bottles in your bathroom. Instead opt for solid soap, shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser! Ethique offer virtually everything in bar-form from body scrubs to face cleansers.
- Bulk shop where you can and choose items without packaging. Obviously, don’t over shop to the point where you’re wasting food. However, bulk shopping can be a great way to reduce packaging. Even better, shop somewhere where you can fill up reusable containers!
- Consider what you store your food in. Try to use reusable containers and food wraps rather than cling film.