Eight million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year, killing and harming marine life and pollution the ocean. Here’s 10 tips for how you can help reduce your plastic waste at home:
1. Carry a reusable coffee cup or flask
Every year, around 2.5 billion coffee cups are discarded in the UK—that’s seven million a day—contributing to the plastic pollution problem. Less than 1% of these can be recycled, meaning most spend up to 50 years in landfill, after lasting just minutes in your hand. Lots of coffee outlets offer a discount when you use your own cup and there are many eco-friendly options out there.
Most of the toothbrushes we use are made of plastic. Try swapping to bamboo brushes instead. If you prefer to use an electric toothbrush, check with the manufacturer to see if they’ll take the plastic heads back for recycling.
4. Revamp your shower experience!
Exfoliating shower puffs are made from plastic and are not recyclable. Better to use a home- made exfoliating body scrub and swap your normal shampoo, conditioner and shower gel to unpackaged bars while you are at it!
5. Say no to plastic cutlery
By carrying a spork, reusing your plastic cutlery or going for a compostable alternative, you could personally save 466 items of unnecessary plastic every year. It’s thought that we use plastic cutlery for just 3 minutes before throwing it away!
7. Ditch the cling film
Unlike cling film that cannot be recycled, foil is recyclable. So if you are using foil, make sure you put it in the recycling bin after use! Another alternative is the new Beeswax Wraps. Made using 100% cotton, Pine Resin, Jojoba Oil and local Beeswax they are 100% natural and environmentally friendly. This means no nasties will leach into your food whilst it’s stored, they’re reusable and compostable, stopping plastic pollution. Plus, they come in fun patterns!
Use loose leaf tea with a tea strainer instead of tea bags that are sealed with plastic. Or give plastic free tea Pukka Tea and Teapigs a go! Disposing of teabags can contribute to the plastic pollution problem by allowing microplastics to enter our waterways and eventually our food chain.
9. Give up gum
Britons are the second biggest consumers of gum in the world, chewing an estimated 130 sticks per person each year. Chewing gum (made from plastic itself) can be swapped for plastic free alternatives such as Glee or Chewsy!