10 Tips to Help Reduce your Plastic Usage

Plastic has been hitting the headlines lately for all the wrong reasons. It has been well publicised that our plastic addiction is causing harm to the environment and especially our planet’s oceans. Each year 300 million tonnes of plastic is created according to Plastic Oceans, of which 8 million tonnes enter the oceans each year.

There are now 46,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre in the oceans, killing an estimated million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals each year. Plastic often entangles marine life such as turtles and dolphins which can drown them; it is also often mistaken for food which builds up in the stomachs of birds and other aquatic life, eventually killing the creatures. Plastic particles and toxins also build up in the food chain when it is eaten by plankton, then fish, then predators and eventually the food enters the human food chain, so next time you eat fish you may also be ingesting plastic, yummy! 

Here are 10 simple ways you can help reduce the amount of plastic you dispose of to help save our oceans:

1) Stop drinking through plastic straws, in the UK and USA 550 million straws are thrown away each day. Why not purchase a reusable metal straw to carry round with you? 

2) Purchase a reusable carrier bag to put your shopping in and save yourself 5p each time!

3) Give up chewing gum; it is made of synthetic rubber which is made of plastic.

4) Ask your headteacher to stop having plastic cups by the water machine and use glass cups or mugs instead. 

5) Use a reusable coffee mug rather than getting your coffee fix in a disposable cup, they may look biodegradable but most coffee cups contain plastics which are difficult to recycle. Often coffee shops offer a small discount to customers using their own cup too.

6) Pack your sandwiches in a reusable tub, rather than wrapping it in cling film.

7) Avoid excessive plastic food packaging. Buy loose vegetables rather than packaged ones and say no to the extra plastic bag wrapped around certain fresh food when purchasing it.

8) Use bars of soap rather than liquid hand soap. It’s often cheaper, so again you can save money, and the planet at the same time!

9) Check the labels of your toiletries as many products contain microbeads. The UK Government have announced a ban on microbeads, but until it comes into force later this year, you can check to see if products contain these with a handy app.

10) Check the rules on recycling in your local area to make sure you are recycling as much as you can. 

Do you have any tips on how you have reduced plastic in your life? Post them in the comments below. 

You can find more tips on how to reduce your impact on the environment by reducing your carbon footprint here.





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