In October 2020, the UK government introduced a ban on plastic straws and cotton buds. But there's still tonnes of plastic in everyday items such as toothbrushes, coffee cups and even tea bags.
The real problem of single-use plastics is our sheer usage of them. From transport to manufacturing to food services, plastic is used everywhere, and combatting this pollution will require a concentrated commitment to change.
Fortunately, scientists, manufacturers and designers are slowly changing their focus to produce ecologically friendly alternatives that create, low-waste ecosystems. These alternatives will stem the growing tide of plastics and also address issues such as offsetting carbon emissions and returning nutrients to the earth.
As consumers, there are many ways we can reduce the amount of plastic we use. Some of the most common places we find plastic is wrapped around the things we buy every day. After all, it’s an effective way to keep food and cosmetics clean and fresh. But by curbing our usage and the demand, manufacturers will have to reduce their production. We can all play our part in reducing plastic.
What else can we do ?
When you take a careful look around your home, the sheer number of things you’ll find containing plastic may surprise you. There are many easy swaps we can all make that will help begin to cut plastic pollution at home.
We can also recognise and support shops and businesses who actively care for the environment and are making efforts to reduce their own amount of plastic that they use. Shop and restaurant displays are one example where some of our local businesses are cutting back on plastic.
A few ideas and tips . . .
Reusable shopping bags
Most plastic bags however, end up as litter in cities and towns—and too many find their way to the ocean, where they kill millions of sea turtles, birds and ocean mammals each year. But you have to carry your groceries home somehow, so what do you do? Reusable grocery bags are a good option.
But ... reusable bags require more energy to produce than our plastic shopping bags. One reusable bag requires the same amount of energy as an estimated 28 plastic bags. "If used once per week, four or five reusable bags will replace 520 plastic bags a year", according to research studies. Another study found that the average cotton bag is used only 51 times before being thrown away. In some cases, reusable bags need to be used over 100 times before they are better for the environment than single-use plastic bags.
Replace teabags with loose tea
The majority of teabags in the UK contain a very thin layer of polypropylene plastic. That thin layer will likely end up as tiny pieces in the soil, which could then find their way into our rivers and eventually the sea.
Choose veg without packaging
Try to buy vegetables, fruit and salad without the unnecessary plastic packaging wherever possible. Most supermarkets are now selling loose items, alternatively local farmers' market will usually have loose produce for sale.
Buy in bulk
Regularly used items can be bought in bulk which will often reduce the amount of plastic packaging pro-rata.
Swap clingfilm for food wraps
Clingfilm is actually made from crude oil. Wrapping sandwiches and other food in plastic to keep it fresh is not good for anyone. Reusable and non plastic food wraps, just as Beeswax can be biodegradable and a better option.
Reusable coffee cups
Because of a plastic film on the inside, very few coffee cups are recycled. Reusable coffee cups are a much friendlier option.
We can all help the environment . . .
The Search Engine that plants trees
Let's plant some more !
119,666,813 trees have been planted by Ecosia users.
Make Ecosia your new search engine and plant trees with your searches - for free! Ecosia uses the ad revenue from your searches to plant trees where they are most needed. By searching with Ecosia, you’re not only reforesting our planet, but you’re also empowering the communities around our planting projects to build better future for themselves,
Give it a try !