All of us are aware of the growing problem that is plastic pollution. Here is a list of easy switches you can make in your every day life to help reduce your plastic waste.
Purchase a reusable water bottle.
“38.5 million plastic bottles are bought every day in the UK”House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Plastic Bottles: Turning Back the Plastic, Dec 2017
Buying a reusable water bottle is the easiest way to reduce your single-use plastic. With 38.5 million bottles being purchased daily, by switching to a reusable bottle, you not only save yourself money but help to make a dent in the staggering number of bottles bought each year in the UK.
Swapping liquid for bars.
An simple sustainable swap is to switch liquids for bars. Whether it be shampoo, conditioner, or hand soap; it is easy to swap the plastic bottles for solid bars. They last longer and cut out the need for plastic altogether. As these alternatives become more available in high-street shops and supermarkets it has never been easier to make this swap.
Say no to plastic straws.
Plastic straws are awful for the environment as many of us already know. In the US and UK over 500 million plastic straws are thrown away every day. You can say no to plastic straws by choosing paper, glass or metal ones instead! Some suppliers even offer reusable straws in a travel pouch for travel. If not, you can always keep a metal straw wrapped up in your bag for on-the-go drinks.
Switch to a reusable coffee cup.
Reusable coffee cups are a must if you are wanting to reduce your waste. Easy to keep in the car or in your backpack; a reusable coffee cup is cheap to buy and lasts for years if cared for. As a bonus, many coffee shops offer a small discount if you bring your own cup!
Swap the plastic toothbrush for bamboo.
“toothbrushes are made from polypropylene plastic and nylon and can take up to 500 years or more to decompose.”The Life cycle of Plastics, WWF Australia, Dec 2021
Plastic toothbrushes dominate the market but unfortunately the materials they are made off take several lifetimes to breakdown. Bamboo toothbrushes are an excellent alternative as the natural materials breakdown far faster than the plastic option.
Take a canvas bag on your shopping trips.
“Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute. A plastic bag has an average “working life” of 15 minutes.”https://plasticbites.org/plastic-facts/
An easy way to cut down on plastic waste is to stop using plastic carrier bags. A canvas bag can be folded up small in your pocket or bag and are often very cheap to buy. A canvas bag is stronger and will last far longer than its plastic counterpart.
Avoid plastic cutlery with your takeaway food by bringing your own. Whether it be a reusable travel set or a metal set brought from home wrapped in fabric. This is an easy way to avoid flimsy single-use plastic cutlery that will be thrown away immediately after use, adding to the plastic pollution problem.
Get your milk delivered.
Go old-school and contact your local milk delivery service. Having it delivered saves you a trip to the shops but more importantly the glass bottles can be reused many, many more times than a plastic milk jug can be recycled.
With these eight simple swaps you can reduce your plastic waste on a day to day basis. Every little bit of waste prevents helps to tackle the plastic pollution crisis that is suffocating our oceans and waterways.
You can find out even more ways to reduce your plastic waste by looking out for our #sustainablesaturday switches on our social medias every week.
If you have any zero waste solutions let us know in the comments below.
 A Plastic Ocean – Education and Discussion Guide, Plastic Oceans International